FutureNeuro

SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological Diseases

Addressing Neurological Diseases

One in every four people in Ireland are living with a neurological condition. That’s over 1.1 million people, which is costing our economy over €3 billion euro per year. Our system for diagnosing, treating and supporting people with neurological diseases is inadequate. 

FutureNeuro is the SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological Diseases. In partnership with the national clinical network for neurology, our centre contributes to improving the health and health-care of people with neurological disease. Our unique approach is to explore multiple related aspects of brain disease across the themes of diagnostics, therapeutics and eHealth. We are passionate about patient-centred care, backed up by evidence-based research.

Who are we?

Hosted by RCSI, our researchers are based in six others Irish academic institutions: Trinity College Dublin, DCU, UCD, NUI Galway, UCC and WIT. Working with these top national and international research teams in neurology we are making significant scientific discoveries, which will lead to earlier detection, more precise treatment and patient-empowered care pathways.

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How do we work?

We raise the profile of Irish research. We are training a team of highly-qualified researchers who will work in hospital, research and industry settings. We generate exchequer value by winning valuable EU research programmes and working collaboratively with industry partners to bring a pipeline of new diagnostic, therapeutic and eHealth solutions to market.

Diagnostics

Our Diagnostics research looks at applying sequencing and advanced informatics and nanomaterials technology to discover, detect and interpret biomolecules from patients collected via national clinical networks to deliver faster, more accurate diagnosis.

Therapeutics

Our Therapeutics research is exploring new types of therapies,  including molecules that work by controlling the activity of networks of genes to stabilize or recover brain function to see how we could deliver these to the brain. 

eHealth

Our eHealth research aims to deliver a research-adapted continuously learning and innovative healthcare system through careful design, development and implementation of eHealth technologies.

What do we do?

Epilepsy Research

Our epilepsy research focuses on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. In particular, understanding genetic contributions to epilepsy and drug response, on the identification of molecular, imaging and electrophysiological biomarkers of epilepsy, and driving next-generation therapeutics development that use advanced molecular designs to adjust brain function to reduce hyperexcitability and stop seizures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multiple Sclerosis Research

Our research is a combination of preclinical and clinical discovery. We focus on understanding the impact of the immune system in Multiple Sclerosis, with the aim to understand how manipulation of microRNAs and metabolic pathways in macrophages may be therapeutically harnessed for the treatment of MS. We also investigate the prevalence and nature of cognitive impairment, using state of the art neurophysiologic technologies with to a view to improving clinical trials and resulting therapies.

 

 

 

 

Rare Paediatric Diseases

We have multiple projects focused on rare neurodevelopmental disorders. This includes Angelman, Dravet and Rett syndromes. Each are characterized by mutations in critical genes for brain development and function and share in common serious drug-resistant epilepsy as well as other life-limiting disabilities. Our preclinical and clinical research is exploring the underlying mechanisms of the diseases, identifying potential biomarkers and developing innovative new therapeutics including gene therapy approaches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motor Neurone Disease Research

Our ALS research explores genetic variants and stem cell modelling to inform disease diagnostics along with the integration of clinical phenotype to develop more precise stratification tools for clinical trials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parkinson's Research

Our Parkinson’s research harnesses our expertise in neuronal physiology, systems modelling, bioinformatics, neuronal physiology and mitochondrial bioenergetics to investigate the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scientific Breakthroughs

We have already made substantial scientific breakthroughs.   Our research has been published in top journals including  Nature Communications, Journal of Clinical Investigation and JAMA Neurology. We have achieved scientific breakthroughs and major advances in all three Thematic areas of the Centre.

 

Breakthrough 1

New molecules discovered in blood samples from patients with epilepsy may support diagnosis and/or predict when a seizure may occur

Breakthrough 2

Resolving the genetics of epilepsy, predicting drug side effects and population structure in Scotland and Ireland.

Breakthrough 3

New human cell models of ALS

Breakthrough 4

New microRNA targets for epilepsy and rare neurodevelopmental disorders

Breakthrough 5

World’s first integrated genomics module in an epilepsy-specific electronic patient record

Public Patient Involvement

The patient and their family is at the centre of our research. Our Engaged Research approach aims to include people with neurological diseases in the design and delivery of our research. Our communications and outreach programme involving all of our researchers and clinicians aims to address the stigma of neurological disease.

FutureNeuro partners with STORM Therapeutics to explore the role of RNA epigenetics in epilepsy

We are delighted to announce that we have entered into partnership with STORM Therapeutics, the leading biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of small molecule therapies modulating RNA epigenetics, to explore new treatment options for people...

FutureNeuro delighted to be part of the LifeTime research community announced in Nature

FutureNeuro has become a member of an exciting new European initiative, which was just announced in Nature. Prof. David Henhall,  our Director explains what our involvement is and how it will benefit people with neurological diseases in Ireland.Where and how do...

Inflammation in the brain: not such a bad thing after all

Continuing our plain english summaries,  Prof. David Henshall, Director of FutureNeuro talks about his team’s recent paper showing how an early burst of inflammation is an important part of the brain’s normal response to a seizure and appears to be a good thing. The...

What are mitochondria and why are they important for people with neurological diseases?

Here, Dr. Orla Watters, a Research Fellow from the PD-MitoQUANT project talks about her recent paper, co-authored with FutureNeuro Principal Investigator Professor Jochen Prehn, showing that mitochondrial transport plays a key part in the brains response to local...

Pandemic to accelerate adoption of electronic patient portal for epilepsy

Pandemic to accelerate adoption of electronic patient portal for epilepsyThe COVID-19 pandemic is a catalyst to accelerate the adoption of technology-enabled patient care for epilepsy, according to a new study published in Epilepsia.Building on the HSE eHealth Ireland...

Latest News

Read the most up-to-date information about our projects, public engagement, industry partners, public patient involvement activities and our media articles.

Industry Partners

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