Huntingtons Disease Awareness Week cheque presentation to Dr Shouqing Luo

Local people affected by a challenging condition of the nervous system have presented £3,000 to the researcher looking to develop a treatment.

Liz Fedrick, Charly Honey and Sarah Jane Dawe gave the cheque to Dr Shouqing Luo at the University of Plymouth, who researches into Huntington’s Disease.

The presentation marks Huntington’s Disease Awareness Week (14-20 May) and took place as the institution launched its new Derriford Research Facility – home to the University’s Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine (ITSMed).

Huntington’s disease is an hereditary disorder of the nervous system caused by a faulty gene on chromosome four. The faulty gene leads to nerve damage in the area of the brain resulting in gradual physical, mental and emotional changes. Those born to a parent with Huntington’s disease have a 50:50 chance of developing it, and there is currently no cure.

The research team at the University of Plymouth is investigating the potential of manipulating activity at a cellular level in order to develop an effective therapy for Huntington’s disease.

Including match funding, Liz and the team have raised more than £30,000 for Dr Luo’s research since 2016, through a variety of events including, most recently, a Jersey Boys event at Saltash Social Club. The next event is an Elvis themed night on 10 November.

Liz said:

“We were so pleased to present the cheque to Dr Luo and are delighted that the money raised is going to such a great cause right on our doorstep. We were inspired to fundraise for the work after going on a lab tour last year and seeing first-hand what is being done to find out more about the disease. Having the chance to see the new space in the Derriford Research Facility this time around was fantastic too.”

Dr Luo said:

“The work Liz and colleagues are doing to raise money for the research is outstanding – we are greatly indebted to our local supporters and we are extremely grateful for all that they do to raise money to support our work. It makes us all the more determined to find a therapy for this debilitating disease.”

Supporting Huntington's research

Professor Shouqing Luo leads our research into Huntington's disease. A condition which gradually affects the ability to walk, talk, think, and reason until eventually full-time care is needed.

"There is real potential for the development of an effective therapy for this devastating neurological disease, for which there is currently no cure." Professor Luo.

Professor Luo discusses his 'world-leading' research into Huntington's disease.

Professor Luo and his team receive support from a local fundraising group

You can donate directly to our Huntington's fundraising Just Giving page

Derriford Research Facility from the ground