News of a major funding boost for research into a lifelong condition that can cause serious disability has been welcomed in West Dunbartonshire.

Researchers in Scotland fighting to stop multiple sclerosis (MS) are to receive new funding of over two thirds of a million pounds.

The cash award has given hope to MS sufferers in the area who believe it will lead to new treatments and improvements in care and services.

The MS Society has committed to raising funds to support five projects worth £668,117 to be carried out at the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, at Glasgow Caledonian University and at The Glasgow School of Art.

Sheena Rollo, co-ordinator at Dumbarton and District MS Group, said: "It is fantastic to see this latest round of funding from the MS Society into research in Scotland.

"In the last 20 years the number of treatments available for people with MS has grown and we hope that continued investment can lead to more options for those who might not have any at the moment.

"This news will give hope to our MS community in West Dunbartonshire, including the Dumbarton and District MS group.

"Scotland has one of the highest rates of MS in the world and it seems that almost everyone you meet has a connection to the condition so this is very welcome news."

Some of the research projects will focus on upper limb rehabilitation using virtual reality, repairing the central nervous system and preventing side-effects in treatments.

Others will study how cell communication can be disrupted in MS and look into the relationship between fatigue and exercise over time.

An estimated 11,000 people currently live with the condition across the country.

The condition damages nerves in the body and makes it harder to do everyday things like walk, talk, eat and think.