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Small steps, mighty strides

28K walk from the Meadows to the Scottish Government Building

1st October 2023

A team from the Neurosciences Foundation, backed by friends and supporters, walked from the Meadows to the Scottish Government Building via Cramond Brig – a total of about 31 kilometres – on Sunday the 1st of October.

The aim was to demonstrate that even small steps can lead to mighty strides in tackling brain and nervous system diseases such as glioblastoma (brain tumours), strokes, multiple sclerosis, migraine and brain injuries too.

The self-styled ‘Neurotics’ team represents a Scottish-based Foundation that has a remarkable track-record in funding small, early-stage research projects. Those early experiments can lead to promising advances that can then be given further funding from the Scottish Government and other, major sponsors of medical research.

New medical treatments take a long time to be evaluated for use on patients and trials can be hugely expensive. For researchers to get major funding, they need to do preliminary work to convince reviewers. One way to measure our success is to look at how much additional funding was procured following our early-stage grants of around £10,000.



We provided funding for a study to explore a new technique to assess the viability of brain tissue around the area of the stroke, and to improve the delivery of oxygen to these regions. The programme is now at an advanced stage and an additional £3.7 million has been secured from the Wellcome Trust and other agencies. The research is being taken forward at the University of Glasgow and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Multiple sclerosis

One of our Neurosciences Foundation students worked to develop a material to enable images to be taken of inflammation in the brain. An additional £3.6 million has been obtained from UK funding councils and the material is now also being assessed for the study of inflammation in heart disease. The exciting next stages are being carried through at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Head injury

We have provided initial funding for projects to link European Centres with neurological intensive care units – both adult and children’s units. The researchers were successful in getting grants of £3.1 million from the European Union and the programmes have helped to determine best practice across Europe. Again, the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are in the driving seat.

Some of our current projects:

Strokes resulting from a bleed in the brain. A group at the University of Strathclyde are exploring a material that could reduce the likelihood of a bleed. Prevention is better than cure!

Brain cancer. A student at the University of Dundee is about to start a project exploring a potential cause of the changes in the body that might lead to the formation of tumour cells.

Migraine. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh are evaluating a material that shows promise in alleviating the symptoms in some types of migraine. Potentially this could be delivered as a nasal spray.

With your support we can continue to help to get good ideas off the ground.

Please show your support for this vital early-stage research by making a donation.