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PRESS REPORT

Meningitis Scotland funds unique study

The tong term effects of meningitis on young survivors of the disease is being studied for the first time in Scotland, thanks to a donation of £10,000 from the Meningitis Association (Scotland) to Yorkhill Sick Children's Hospital in Glasgow.

The donation will be used to fund a part-time Assistant Psychologist, who will initially examine scientific and medical publications for evidence of longer-term problems that may be attributable to the disease. These may include problems such as behavioural disturbances and disruption to the normal learning capabilities of young children.

Dr Liam Dorris, Paediatric Neuropsychologist is delighted with the funding and feels the study could result in future improvements for the care of children who have survived meningitis, he commented:

"In addition to a scientific literature review, we hope to interview several families affected by meningitis in order to consider their experiences after their child's acute medical care. We will be looking at a wide range of evidence including results of neuropsychological tests and educational progress, as well as the accounts of the children themselves. By following a number of children who have come through Yorkhill with meningitis, we can build up solid evidence of what the long term impacts may be.

"This study will involve looking at the effects of meningitis from a psychologist's point of view, allowing us to dig deeper into the longer-term neuropsychological implications the disease could have for children as they grow up".

"At the end of the project we would hope to be more able to identify those children who may beat high risk of developing long term complications as a result of contracting meningitis. The potential to then develop early strategies to treat these children, in liaison with colleagues in education, would be a future goal."

"The funding from the Meningitis Association (Scotland) comes as a direct result of their work with families who claim their children have been afflicted with longer-term problems as a result of an early brush with meningitis".

Eileen McKiernan, Chairperson of the Meningitis Association (Scotland) said:

"We have been aware of the long term side effects of meningitis for many years, and have paid for both children and adults to be seen by neuropsychologists. The desperate need for this study has in one way been fulfilled thanks to the foresight of the management of Yorkhill hospital who are always at the forefront of medical breakthroughs".

Meningitis Association Scotland donation funded the first study of its kind in Scotland…

"We trust that this is just the beginning of the treatment of many children whose lives have been, and continue to be, ruined because the long term side effects of meningitis have not been recognised and are treated too late as unrelated anomalies".

"£8,000 of the funding came as a direct result of a golf tournament organised by Mr Sati Singh and family, which was attended by Kenny Dalgleish, Ally McCoist, Walter Smith, Arthur Numan, Alistair Forsyth and Andy Cameron to name Just a few. The tournament took place in November 2004 at Mearns Castle Gold Academy. The remaining £2,000 was donated from the Meningitis Association (Scotland)'s own funds".

Kenny Dalgleish and Ally McCoist (pictured right) helped raise part of the funding thanks to a celebrity golf tournament.

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