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Full NameDr Colm Cunningham

Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience

Trinity College Dublin

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields
  • neuroscience and mental health
Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Anaesthetics
  • Emergency Medicine
Medical Subspecialties
  • Dementia
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
My Work

My main research interests are in neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation and in the role of microglia and astrocytes in these processes. I am particularly interested in how systemic insults like infection, inflammation and injury interact with, and influence, ongoing neurodegeneration. Our work has shown exaggerated responses to systemic inflammation in animals/persons with existing brain pathology. Our laboratory is one of the few, worldwide, performing basic research in delirium and we've developed the first animal models to study delirium during dementia, combining molecular, histological and behavioural approaches with validation of findings in clinical populations.

Relevant Publications
Hennessy et al., (2015) Astrocytes are primed by chronic neurodegeneration to produce exaggerated chemokine and cell infiltration responses to acute stimulation with the cytokines IL-1β and TNF-a. Journal of Neuroscience. Jun 3;35(22):8411-22
Davis et al., (2015) Worsening cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative pathology progressively increase risk for delirium. Am J Geriatric Psychiatry. Apr 23(4): 403-415
Field et al, (2012) Prior pathology in the basal forebrain cholinergic system predisposes to inflammation induced working memory deficits: reconciling inflammatory and cholinergic hypotheses of delirium. Journal of Neuroscience 32(12):6288-6294.
Cunningham et al., (2009) Systemic inflammation superimposed on chronic neurodegeneration induces acute behavioural and cognitive changes and accelerates neurological decline. Biological Psychiatry 65(4):304-12.