Aug 25 2008 Posted: 00:00 IST
The latest neuroscience research into diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis will be discussed during the 2nd National Meeting of Neuroscience Ireland at NUI Galway. The conference takes place from 28-29 August and will bring together leading neuroscientists, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students from all over Ireland, Britain and Europe. The organisation Neuroscience Ireland was set up to advance research and education in the neurosciences in Ireland. Conference organiser, Dr Karen Doyle, lecturer in the Physiology Department and Head of the Neuroscience Cluster within the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway, commented: "Neuroscience is an emerging discipline of great strength in Ireland. The main themes of this conference are very topical and reflect areas of research strength within NUI Galway, and Ireland as a whole. For example, the first session focuses on the mechanisms of cell death in neurons, which may underpin the development of devastating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease." Professor Aviva Tolkovski from the University of Cambridge will present a paper on the mechanisms of neurodegeneration. The conference will also look at strategies to promote regeneration of neurons, which may advance the discovery of new therapies for degenerative diseases, enhancing the quality of life for huge numbers of patients and their families. Another session focuses on pain, which affects millions of people world-wide and has major implications to quality of life and economics. Dr Doyle added, "The conference also looks at emerging areas of neuroscience such as that of glial cells, which have been linked with the development of Multiple Sclerosis. Professor David Nutt from the University of Bristol will lead a discussion on the psychopharmacology of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia and the mind altering effects of drugs. NUI Galway has a long association with the postgraduate training of neuroscientists. Its Neuroscience Graduate School enhances the international profile of neuroscience in NUI Galway. The Neuroscience Ireland conference will provide a focus for global neuroscience research within Irish research institutions.