NIHR | Manchester Biomedical Research Centre

Spotlight On: High-burden Under-researched Conditions Cluster

Researchers are addressing health conditions that affect many people, but which traditionally have had less research undertaken, through our High-burden Under-researched Conditions Cluster.

These conditions – which include hearing loss, mental health problems and rare diseases – all significantly impact individuals and families. These can often be hidden and people with these conditions can face challenges around access to healthcare.

In this new series, we are shining a Spotlight On the range and impact of the cutting-edge research here at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Watch the film below to find out how Manchester BRC’s inclusive and proactive research is driving health improvements in High-burden Under-researched Conditions.

High-burden Under-researched Conditions Cluster: Hearing Health, Mental Health, Rare Conditions

High-burden Under-researched Conditions

Hearing loss causes communication difficulties, anxiety and isolation, and is associated with frailty, dementia and depression. Our aim is to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of hearing loss, to fundamentally shift the emphasis from hearing loss to hearing health.

Poor mental health plays a key part in all health outcomes. Early translational research is urgently needed to identify new treatments and better ways of delivery, within a framework of prevention, personalised healthcare and integration with our other research themes.

More than 3.5 million people in the UK are affected by one of more than 7,000 rare conditions. More than half of rare conditions cause early death and most have no treatment. We are using a diverse range of experimental approaches to drive innovation around diagnosis, clinical outcomes, and personalised treatments.

Coming next

Next time, we will be continuing with our Cluster model and shining a Spotlight On the Cancer Cluster.

Follow Manchester BRC on X/Twitter and LinkedIn to keep updated with the series.

Watch our Inflammation Cluster video now.

Our themes and clusters

Our 13 research themes collaborate in 4 Clusters, to enhance partnership working and cover a wider geographical reach, so we can:

  • Focus on inflammation – a process common to conditions of the joints, chest, heart, blood vessels and skin
  • Find ways to detect cancer early – tailor treatments to the individual, improve radiotherapy and care for those living with and beyond cancer
  • Shine a light on sometimes overlooked areas – such as hearing and deafness, mental health and rare genetic conditions.
  • Understand disease complexity – using a variety of new methods to better diagnose and treat patients.

The 4 Clusters are:

A circle split into quarters. Each quarter shows a cluster and the research themes within that cluster.

Cancer (prevention and early detection, advanced radiotherapy, precision medicine, living with and beyond cancer),

Inflammation (rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease, respiratory medicine, dermatology, integrative cardiovascular medicine),

High-burden Under-researched Conditions (hearing health, mental health, rare conditions)

Disease Complexity and Multi-morbidity (next generation phenotyping and diagnostics, next generation therapeutics).