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.
Read the most up-to-date information about our projects, public engagement, industry partners, public patient involvement activities and our media articles.
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.
Coproducing health and well-being in partnership with patients, families, and healthcare providers: A qualitative study exploring the role of an epilepsy patient portal
Characterization of the Expression of the ATP-Gated P2X7 Receptor Following Status Epilepticus and during Epilepsy Using a P2X7-EGFP Reporter Mouse
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.
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.
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.
What do we do?
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.
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
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.