Brain Research in Ireland – Where do we go from here?

A joint conference of the Irish Brain Council and the Neurological Alliance of Ireland, entitled ‘Brain Research in Ireland: Delivering on the Potential‘ was held in Trinity College Biomedical Sciences Building on March 10th. The aim was to bring together all stakeholders to examine what needs to be done to support, promote and strengthen brain research in this country.

You can access the Brain_Research_in_Ireland_REPORT here.

A series of key messages and recommended actions were developed by the Brain Council following this meeting.

Key Messages:

Key Message 1: Advocacy: There is a need for a strong platform in Ireland to co-ordinate efforts to promote and advocate for basic and clinical research into brain conditions

Action:

  1. The Irish Brain Council will work to promote a strong advocacy message in relation to investing in and supporting the development of brain research in Ireland
  2. The Irish Brain Council will work to create awareness and support for brain research among Government and policy makers and the general public

Key Message 2: Funding: Changes are needed to current funding available to brain research as well as steps to strengthen the capacity to attract funds to Ireland

Actions

1. The Irish Brain Council will work with current funders to highlight the need for targeted initiatives to support brain research

  1. The Irish Brain Council will support and promote awareness of initiatives aimed at increasing the capacity within Ireland to attract funding for brain research.

 

Key Message 3: Career Structuring to Support Brain Research: Changes to career structuring are required to support both clinical and non clinical researchers

1.The Irish Brain Council will work with relevant stakeholders to promote the development of research posts and ring fenced research time as well as supporting career development for non clinical fundamental researchers at both graduate and undergraduate levels.

 

Key Message 4: Networks and Infrastructure to Support Brain Research: Key supports are required to promote

1.The Irish Brain Council will work to ensure the development of an effective mechanism to translate research into practice within the health services

2.The Irish Brain Council will work to support and promote initiatives aimed at the development of an effective infrastructure to support brain research in Ireland including databases and registries as well as fundamental research and clinical trials networks.

 

Key Message 5: Patient Involvement and Patient Organisations

The Irish Brain Council recognises the key role of patients and patient organisations at all stages of the research process from informing research questions, through participation and translation of findings into new treatments or approaches.

1.The Irish Brain Council will work to support and promote the involvement of patients and patient organisations in brain research through developing and strengthening partnerships and supporting engagement between researchers, patients and patient organisations.

2.The Irish Brain Council will work to support and promote initiatives aimed at increasing the involvement of patients and patient organisations in the research process and in the development of new treatments and approaches to brain conditions.

Now we want your views on these and any further actions the Brain Council should engage in going forward.

Please leave your comments below by 30th June.

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4 Responses to Brain Research in Ireland – Where do we go from here?

  1. Excellent report from a really excellent day. The actions moving forward are to be applauded. Might suggest that the proposed new genetic and genomic network is connected to Irish Brain Council. So many neuro-developmental conditions have underlying genetic causes.

  2. We welcome this report and key actions for research from the Irish Brain Council. In particular we welcome the acknowledgement of translating findings into new treatment approaches and wish to emphasise the need for and benefit of a palliative approach to care for people with advancing neurological illnesses as indicated in the 2014 Neurological Alliance of Ireland and Irish Hospice Foundation Report “The Palliative Care Needs of People with Advancing Neurological Disease in Ireland”. Recent cancer research is also demonstrating how a palliative approach to care demonstrates improvement to quality of life (Howie & Peppercorn,2013). Research gaps remain with regard to promoting synergy between palliative and neurological care and it would be useful for research strands to address how a palliative approach to care can improve quality of brain health for those with advancing neurological disease.

  3. Brian C O'Moore says:

    From my perspective dementia research and treatment is a very important aspect of neurological endeavour. Casting all humour aside, given my age, this is a huge burgeoning problem which has massive implications for our society. Research in this area would be well supported and appreciated by our fellow citizens. Any advances in knowledge and treatment would be of immense value.

  4. Raymond Murphy says:

    Minor point scrap the words “will work to support” and simply use the more positive line “will …develop etc or whatever the message you want to get across.
    Suggest you specifically say that your support is for all universities and clinical neurological depts in the South/? North, there can be an assumption it is all Dublin based. Raymond Murphy read neurologist.

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