Our history

We were founded in 1971, with the aim of supporting research at London’s Institute of Neurology into diseases of the brain and nervous system.

We funded wide-ranging research across the Institute, providing core funding through restricted endowments, as well as funding to support peer-reviewed research projects and PhD studentships. We provided total funding of around £45m between 1971 and 2016 – funding research into many conditions including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, brain tumours, multiple sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy, motor neurone disease, ataxia, migraine, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and brain injury.

As well as the funds raised by our dedicated supporters, much of the funding for this work came from restricted endowment funds, such as the Graeme Watts Endowment, set up in 1999 with funds left to us by the Watts family for the purpose of funding research into motor neurone disease. These funds enabled the establishment of a new laboratory dedicated to research into motor neurone disease and enable us to continue to fund research there to this day.

In 2015, we broadened our remit to enable us to fund research at other centres of excellence around the UK.