Motor Neuron Disease
- Prof. Orla Hardiman, Dr. Peter Bede

Prof. Hardiman Dr. BedeProf. Hardiman is currently HRB Clinical Scientist, Consultant Neurologist at Beaumont Hospital, and Clinical Professor (Neurology) Trinity College Dublin. Recently Prof. Hardiman's work was profiled on a RTE documentary featuring Colm Murray. Click here to read more. To vist the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association click here.

Her primary research interests include the epidemiology and pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with particular reference to deep phenotyping using modern neuropsychology, neuroimaging and genetic tools, and the identification of genetic and environmental susceptibility factors.  Recent work  focuses on the clinical and genetic overlap between ALS and frontotemporal dementia (for which  Prof. Hardiman  has received a Health Research Board Clinician Scientist Awards), and the epidemiology, clinical features  and health service needs of people with young onset neurodegeneration.  

In conjunction with CAMI, Prof. Hariman and Dr. Peter Bede are conducting a cross-sectional and longitudinal neuroimaging study of motor neuron disease (MND). Prof. Hardiman and Dr. Bede are using advanced 3 Tesla MRI techniques for the early identification, measurement and longitudinal follow up of pathological change specific to MND. While previous imaging studies in MND have focused primarily on the motor cortex and motor pathways of the brain, this study assesses frontotemporal involvement.

Prof. Hardiman and Dr. Bede correlate the 3T MRI findings with detailed neurological and neuropsychological profiling, using Diffusion Tensor Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Voxel Based Morphometry and functional MRI. Their work aims to identify whether MRI has a role in segregating different MND phenotypes and whether these imaging modalities can be developed into sensitive diagnostic, clinical or prognostic biomarkers.

Motor Neuron Disease