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Full NameProfessor Richard Reilly

Department:Biomedical Engineering

Organisation:Trinity College Dublin

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields
  • neuroscience and mental health
  • bioengineering/medical devices
Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Sports and Exercise Medicine
Medical Subspecialties
  • Neurology
  • Neurophysiology
My Work

The focus of the lab is on clinical neural engineering based on signal processing of neuroimaging and physiological data for specific clinical problems.

Harvest information from signals acquired from excitable tissue
Development of quantitative methods to understand neurological function.
Development of new analytical, neurophysiological and neuroimaging methods which allow outcomes of interventions to be more accurately predicted.

Our research is in collaboration with clinical colleagues in neurology, neurophysiology, psychiatry, otolaryngology, gerontology and respiratory medicine.
The Reilly Lab is a constituent laboratory of the Trinity Centre of Bioengineering and the Trinity Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity College, The University of Dublin.

One major theme is focused on uncovering the cause, or causes, of adult onset dystonia and increasing our understanding of this disorder. This multidisciplinary team comprises neurologists from the Department of Neurology, St Vincent’s University Hospital, and engineers and scientists from the Neural Engineering laboratory, Trinity College Dublin.

Potential Projects

Dystonia encompasses a heterogeneous group of neurological movement disorders characterised by excessive co-contraction of agonist-antagonist muscles, resulting in abnormalities in posture and movement which are highly disabling. Dystonia is the third most common movement disorder in clinical practice. While dystonia greatly affects the quality of life, the cause is unknown and there is no cure. This chronic condition requires on-going management of symptoms, which is not always effective.

Musician's dystonia (MD) is a specific phenotype of adult-onset focal isolated dystonia (AOIFD) and is the most common movement disorder affecting musicians. MD, which is considered an autosomal dominant disorder has a devastating effect on a professional musician's career and quality of life. It is estimated 1-2% of all professional musicians are affected, predominantly men (M:F = 4:1), with almost all of them classically trained. Typical onset is in the fourth decade with focal hand dystonia and embouchure dystonia the main phenotypes associated with MD.

The objective of this clinical PhD is to develop an online quantification tool for musicians dystonia based on audio processing. Specifically, custom software will be developed for extracting acoustic features (i.e. frequency, amplitude and noise perturbations) from audio signals. We will collect music recordings from 60 musicians with musicians dystonia and 60 healthy musicians. Such recordings will consist in a series of sustained and sequenced notes played at different pitches, volumes and speeds. An online-website version of the analysis software will be created. It will be an open tool in which musicians from around the world will be able to upload their recordings and self-detect their MD severity. We will share our test and gather data from subjects attending Musician Dystonia Research Centres in Dublin, London, Hanover, Milan, Boston and New York. This unique dataset will generate biomarkers for improved diagnosis and new treatments of dystonia.