A North Queensferry woman has become the oldest person to join a Scotland-wide effort to help shape the medicines of the future.
100-year old Isabella Moore and her two daughters signed up to SHARE (The Scottish Health Research Register) during a visit to the Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline. SHARE aims to make it easier for researchers to identify suitable participants to help carry out groundbreaking medical research. The initiative also uses blood left over from routine testing to help improve treatments for diseases such as Cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Asthma.
Isabella’s daughter, 77 year old Isabella Fraser, said:
“I, my sister, and my mother have all signed up to the SHARE register.
“I think that anyone who can help with research and helping to understand things should sign up, particularly older people where a greater understanding of their genes may be useful to future generations, especially for things like dementia.”
SHARE makes it easier for people to get involved with research, and volunteers have been signing up as a result of invitations at their hospital appointment, doctor’s surgeries, or via social media reports. It only takes one minute to sign up but the benefits may be felt for generations to come. Television presenter – and former Rector of the University of Dundee - Lorraine Kelly has become the 100,000th volunteer in Scotland to join SHARE, she said:
“I am delighted to be part of this pioneering health initiative. It is important that everyone gets an opportunity to help medical research. Scottish health researchers have always provided ground breaking new treatments that have transformed global health. This is our chance to help develop the next generation of treatments for a healthier Scotland.”
SHARE is the largest register of volunteers in the UK and the use of `spare’ blood in this way is a world first. Colin Palmer, Professor of Pharmacogenomics at the University of Dundee, is leading on SHARE’s spare blood appeal:
“Tens of thousands of people have signed up across Scotland over the past 15 years to genetic studies which have resulted directly in major discoveries of genetic variants for Eczema, Asthma, Diabetes and Heart disease amongst others. However, to really maximise the benefits of this research and help transform the personalisation of healthcare, we need to study really large samples so it is vital we find new and simple ways for people to help.”
People can sign up at www.registerforshare.orgor complete FREEPOST brochures that are widely distributed throughout Scotland including clinics, GP surgeries and pharmacies. Scots on the register have agreed to be informed about health research projects that they may be interested in taking part in. There is no obligation to participate in any specific study and it is up to the individual to choose whether or not to take part in any of these studies.
Professor Brian McKinistry, of the Centre for Population Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, said:
“SHARE is a way people can get involved and help make a huge impact. All people need to do to get involved is register online or complete a simple leaflet registration that can be found at doctor’s surgeries and hospitals throughout Scotland. It literally takes a minute and they do not need to do anything else - there is no need for a special sample of blood to be taken and they do not need to make a visit to their doctor. All the samples which we are given access to will be made anonymous using a barcode system.”
SHARE is a partnership between the NHS in Scotland, the Scottish Government and Universities in Scotland.