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Almost 22,000 people from across Fife have now signed up for the opportunity to help further medical research.

In the two and a half years since it was launched, the Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE) has become the largest database of volunteers in the UK and has enlisted the support of more than 100,000 Scots.

SHARE makes it easier to identify research volunteers and almost 22,000 people in Fife have signed up to help develop the next generation of treatments. SHARE has already facilitated discoveries of genetic variants for Eczema, Asthma, Diabetes and Heart disease and, in a ‘world first’, the initiative also uses blood left over from routine testing to help develop improved treatments for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. SHARE volunteers have been signing up as a result of invitations at hospital appointments, doctor’s surgeries, public events and online.

Commenting, Research and Development Director at NHS Fife, Professor Alex Baldacchino, said:

“I am delighted that almost 22,000 people from across Fife have taken the opportunity to sign up to SHARE. It only takes a minute to join but the benefits could be enormous and may improve treatments for future generations.

“To play a role in making Scotland healthier, simply register online at www.registerforshare.orgor complete the simple leaflet registration available at local doctors’ surgeries and hospitals; crucially, there is no obligation to participate in any specific study – be it the completion of a questionnaire or the clinical trial of a new treatment - and it is up to the individual to choose whether or not to take part.”

“Having comfortably surpassed 20,000, our next target is to attract 25,000 local people to sign up. By generating as big a sample base as possible we can give ourselves a fantastic platform to make significant improvements to the lives of people in Scotland.”