Our research priorities

We are currently funding research into a wide range of conditions including neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, stroke, brain tumours, motor neurone disease and ataxia.

In 2016, our Scientific Advisory Panel identified three priority areas where they felt research investment was most needed. In each of these three areas, set out below, they highlighted a large unmet patient need coupled with lack of current research investment.

“As part of the re-launch of the Brain Research UK grant programme, the Scientific Advisory Panel identified three areas of translational research that are currently underfunded, important priorities for patients and carers, and which would give the charity’s grant programme a distinctive focus.

"Acquired brain damage, neuro-oncology, and headache and facial pain are three key areas of neurology and neurosurgery in which effective new treatments are badly needed. They affect large numbers of patients and are responsible for disabling and, in the case of neuro-oncology usually fatal, disease. We believe that focusing our funding on these three areas maximises the impact of donations given to Brain Research UK.” Professor James Fawcett, past Chair of Brain Research UK Scientific Advisory Panel

Acquired brain and spinal cord injury

Acquired brain and spinal cord injury includes both traumatic and non-traumatic injuries occurring after birth.

There are around 350,000 hospital admissions every year in the UK relating to acquired brain injuries. For many people with severe injuries, long-term rehabilitation is necessary to maximise function and independence.

We are funding research to advance understanding of how to promote repair of the brain and spinal cord. This may be through behavioural interventions that stimulate recovery, or medical interventions, or a combination of both.

We have funded the following projects under this priority area:

Brain tumours

More than 11,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year in the UK.

With more than 130 different types of brain tumour, which may all present with different types of symptoms, they are difficult to diagnose and exceptionally difficult to treat.

We want to improve the outlook for people with brain tumours by funding research that takes forward our understanding of the mechanisms underlying tumour development, and helps develop better ways to diagnose and treat these tumours.

We have funded the following projects under this priority theme:

Headache and facial pain

Headache has been described as the most common medical complaint known to man. There are hundreds of different types of headache and facial pain disorders including migraine and cluster headache

We want to improve people’s lives by funding research that addresses the causes and mechanisms of headache and facial pain, and advances diagnosis and treatment of these disorders.

We have funded the following projects under this research theme:

Can you help? 

We rely upon voluntary donations to fund this work. Could you help us to fund more research, and increase the pace of progress? Find out how to help.