Prof. David Henshall is Director of FutureNeuro the national research centre focused on chronic and rare neurological conditions. Addressing the audience he said Ireland ranks 6th in the world in neuroscience and publishes in many of the world’s best journals but more funding is needed for basic and translational research. The cost of brain diseases is 3 billion per year and only 1% is invested in research. There is an obvious critical deficit between cost and investment. A research strategy around the brain is needed and funding built around this. Career pathways are needed to retain expertise and develop the area here in Ireland. Technologies such as PET scanners and MRI are indispensable for brain research yet there is no PET scanner and there are not enough MRI’s. The Brain Bank needs support also.
Talking about the input from patient organisations and patients Prof Henshall said that the recent changes in scientific approach which puts the patient at the centre can bring a positive influence in the direction of the research. www.sfi.ie/sfi-research-centres/futureneuro/