Reta Lila Weston Trust

The Reta Lila Weston Trust is a private UK family Trust first established in the 1970's to fund neurological medical research. The initial bequest from the Trust, funded and continues to fund, the Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies based at University College London. The Trust funds world class research both at the Institute and via individual grants into conditions with a devastating impact on patients including research to understand the impact of the microbiota in neonatal mortality, the effect of childhood trauma on brain development in vulnerable adolescents and neurological conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, Motor Neurone Disease (MND)/Amyoltrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Lewy body dementia, and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).


In 2016 the Reta Lila Weston Trust launched grant funding specifically for research into the microbiome and its links to neurodegenerative diseases. The £1.2 million grant was awarded to a team from the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London to identify how changes in gut microbiota and microglia activation could slow the progression of MND a disease that affects 5,000 in the UK at any one time, with six people newly diagnosed every day. In the UK, MND kills a third of people within a year of diagnosis and more than half within two years of diagnosis.

Garfield Mitchell, Chair of the Reta Lila Wilson Trust, said: "We are on the cusp of profound discoveries that have the potential to transform how we prevent or treat some of the world's most devastating neurodegenerative conditions of our time. It is vital that we strive to understand far more about the microbiome and the role it plays in our neurological health if we are to get any closer to preventing, treating and even curing some of these terrible diseases."