Grandmother with Motor Neurone Disease urges sufferers to sign up to ‘ground-breaking’ new drug trial

A grandmother from Annan who is living with Motor Neurone Disease is urging other people with the condition to take part in a ‘ground-breaking’ new clinical trial.

Anne Robertson was a self-confessed chatterbox before her friends noticed her speech starting to slur in 2014.

She’s now completely lost her ability to talk.

She said, “People thought I had had a stroke and others thought I had a drink problem, which we thought was rather amusing as I don’t drink.

“I went to the doctors just before Christmas 2014 because of mucus in my throat and he noticed my speech was slurred.

“He had said MND was a possibility but needed to do these tests before a final diagnosis could be made. In the meantime, he sent me to a Speech and Language Therapist.

“I was officially diagnosed with MND in October 2015. I just accepted it and asked what happens now?”

It’s frustrating at times not being able to speak. I can’t type as quickly as I think or could speak.


“But I was not going to sit down to it, as I still had (and have) a lot of living to do and a lot to live for.

“I love going out and meeting friends, and MND hasn’t stopped me doing this. My family would say I’m never in. I go out for coffee, shopping, to the theatre, spa days and holidays. I go on the train myself to visit my son and his family in Somerset.”

Anne wants to show people that it’s perfectly possible to run a normal life with MND. She’s considering being part of a new drug trial but feels younger people with the condition should sign up.

What is MND?

MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. This may cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink or breathe unaided.

The Trial

Following a £1.5m investment, MND Scotland is asking people with the condition to take part in what’s being called one of the UK’s most comprehensive clinical trials in a generation.

This new trial aims to find treatments that could slow, stop or reverse the progression of the terminal disease.

In the past, trials have focused on a single drug but this will allow more than one treatment to be tested at the same time.

Lawrence Cowan, Chairman of MND Scotland, said: “MND killed my best friend Gordon Aikman so suddenly, I never got a chance to say a proper goodbye. But I did make a promise to him that I would fight for everyone to have access to drug trials. I wish he was here to see this day.

This is one of the biggest MND trials the UK has ever seen – and it’s open to almost everyone with the disease.


“We will continue to fight to give people with MND access to effective treatments and to beat MND once and for all. Together we can make it happen.”

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