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Potter author gives €12m for MS clinic

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has donated €12m to set up a new multiple sclerosis (MS) research clinic.

The writer said she believed the clinic, to be based at the University of Edinburgh, will become a world centre for excellence in its field.

It is also hoped work at the facility will help researchers find out more about other incurable neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and motor neurone disease.

The Regenerative Neurology Clinic will be named after Rowling's mother, Anne, who suffered from MS and died at the age of 45. The author said the new clinic, which is expected to be completed within a year, would place patients at the heart of the research and treatment process.

Rowling quit as patron of the MS Society Scotland in April last year, claiming the charity was being riven by an internal row.

Resignations

The multi-millionaire, who had supported the charity for nearly a decade, said conflict between the Scottish charity and management in London had resulted in a raft of other resignations.

Scotland has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with some 10,500 people having the condition.

MS causes myelin, a protective layer surrounding nerve cells in the brain, to break down, leading to symptoms such as numbness, fatigue and weakness.

The exact cause of the disease is not fully understood, although genetics and environmental factors may play a part.

Rowling said the funds were to help attract world-class researchers to find a cure for the disease.

"Edinburgh has given me so very much that I have been looking for a way to give something meaningful back to the city for a long time," she said.

hnews@herald.ie


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