A new €13.6 million SFI Research Centre has been launched at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys.
FutureNeuro is aiming to translate breakthroughs in the understanding on brain structure and function to transform the patient journey for people with neurological diseases.
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) have awarded the new FutureNeuro Research Centre €10.3 million of the funding, with the further €3.3 million coming from industry partners.
SFI now have a network of world-leading research centres across Ireland. These centres are undertaking research with the aim of helping to transform the lives of approximately 800,000 people in Ireland who are affected by neurological disorders.
Initially focused on epilepsy and ALS (Motor Neuron disease), FutureNeuro connects national and multinational industries with key academics and clinicians based in leading hospitals, providing diagnostic, therapeutic and eHealth solutions.
In Ireland alone, 40,000 people have epilepsy with a near 30 per cent not responding to current treatment methods.
Professor David Henshall, the Director of FutureNeuro and also a Professor of Molecular Physiology and Neuroscience in RCSI hopes the research can someday lead to a cure for certain brain diseases.
“Brain diseases such as epilepsy and Motor Neurone disease have a profound impact on people’s lives and until we understand the underlying causes, we are not going to be able to find cures or improve treatments,” Henshall said.
“By bringing together scientists, neurological clinicians, patient groups and industry partners we hope to transform the patient journey for people with epilepsy and Motor Neuron disease to result in faster, more precise diagnosis and fewer hospital and emergency department admissions.”
“Ultimately we hope that the research at FutureNeuro will someday lead to a cure for certain brain diseases,” Henshall said
One in five emergency department admissions are due to a neurological problem with epilepsy accounting for 6,000 hospital admissions per year, with over 95 per cent of these coming through the emergency department.
FutureNeuro is hosted by RCSI but will bring together a network of internationally recognised neuroscientists, clinical neurologists, geneticists, cell biologists, computer scientists and material chemists from RCSI, DCU, NUIG, Trinity College and UCD.
“I am very pleased to welcome FutureNeuro to the network of world-leading SFI Research Centres, which are agents of positive impact and growth in Ireland’s economy and society.
“Excellence in healthcare is a priority for the Irish Government, demonstrated in the €10.3 million we have allocated to the project,” Minister Humphreys said at the launch.
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