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Queen Mary’s and Royal London to be Behçet’s disease research centre

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 March 2012

Prof Farida Fortune, heading the new centre

Prof Farida Fortune, heading the new centre

QM

Patients suffering a rare condition that can lead to ulcers and even strokes and arthritis may soon be diagnosed quicker and more accurately with a new research centre being set up in London’s East End.

A partnership between the University of London’s Queen Mary College and the Royal London Hospital has been named as one of three ‘centres of excellence’ in the country to receive special funding to study Behçet’s disease.

It is getting a lion’s share of a £20 million NHS budget as the largest of the centres being set up next week to delve into the causes of rare chronic inflammatory disorder.

A team of medical researchers and doctors will be led by Farida Fortune, Professor of Medicine at Queen Mary’s and consultant at the Royal London, who said: “Becoming a ‘centre of excellence’ creates potential for improving research to find new drugs and improve patients’ care and quality of life.”

Behçet’s is caused by disturbances in the immune system which cause long-term problems such as ulcers, eye inflammation, strokes and arthritis.

Patients have had to put up with different refferals for treatment, often with incorrect diagnosis and inadequate therapies.

Now research under one roof for all symptoms of the condition will mean quicker diagnosis and holistic treatment.

The Whitechapel centre is joined by two others at Birmingham and Aintree being set up which will attract a combined budget of £20m over five years for diagnosis and treatment.


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