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BACKGROUND

The etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease, is unclear. Some genetic risk factors have been identified but there is little evidence regarding potential environmental risk factors for the disease, with most studies limited by small case numbers and by retrospective collection of exposure data. 

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE, RESEARCH METHODS AND TRAINING

The project will involve analysis of data from the prospective Million Women Study, which includes over a million UK women recruited almost 20 years ago.  Information on smoking, drinking, body size, diet, reproductive patterns and other lifestyle factors have been collected at recruitment and/or subsequent study questionnaires. The entire cohort has been followed for incidence of cancer, hospital admissions and death. Further information can be found on the website (www.millionwomenstudy.org). Participants are now aged 74, on average, and over 2000 incident cases of ALS have accrued. The main aim of the project is to describe incidence patterns of ALS within the study population and to examine how socioeconomic, anthropometric, lifestyle, pre-existing morbidities and other factors are associated with risk of the disease.

FIELD WORK, SECONDMENTS, INDUSTRY PLACEMENTS AND TRAINING 

Training will be provided on data analysis, record linkage between multiple research databases, and statistical methods, within the Department and, if necessary, by external courses.

PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATE

The candidate should have an MSc degree in epidemiology or statistics.

Supervisors