FutureNeuro Aims for Advanced Research and Treatments in Brain Disorders

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Brain disease is one of Ireland’s most serious public-health, societal, and economic issues. With one-third of the population impacted over their lifetime, the annual cost to healthcare and social systems is estimated to be €30 billion. More than 800,000 people in Ireland suffer from brain and central nervous system disorders, including epilepsy and motor neuron disease (MND)/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), and acquired brain damage. Over 30% of those affected have psychiatric illnesses, which complicates their care.

The RCSI hosts FutureNeuro, an interdisciplinary research facility funded by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). It is dedicated to reducing this load by accelerating progress and transforming breakthroughs into practical solutions. The center is dedicated to make a real difference in patient outcomes by enhancing diagnostics, providing tailored medicines, and advancing healthcare management. Since its inception in 2017, FutureNeuro’s research has resulted in revolutionary treatments such as genetic testing to identify individuals who are best suited for life-changing medications. The center has began its second phase, with a €17.9 million government investment through SFI.

As FutureNeuro enters its second phase, fueled by remarkable achievements thus far, its aim for the future is to transform the patient journey. However, the truth is that most brain disorders still lack effective treatments, and diagnosis is a lengthy procedure for many. Recognizing the magnitude of the challenge ahead, the center has assembled the best scientists, clinicians, and academic and industry partners to collaborate on an integrated research program to advance the center’s journey to becoming a world-class research institute that directly connects with the needs of patients and their clinicians.

FutureNeuro, lead by Prof David Henshall, Centre Director and Professor of Molecular Physiology and Neuroscience at RCSI, is expanding its operations and bringing together fresh science, talent, and expertise in brain research from top institutions across Ireland. In addition to the RCSI, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, the University of Galway, University College Cork, Maynooth University, and South East Technological University are included. Most crucially, the centre is linked to a research-engaged national clinical network, which influences the research topics and provides valuable access to patients and their data to make the research relevant and translational.

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