The Neurone ONLUS Foundation was established on April 27, 2006 at the behest of its president and founder Gulio Nicolò Meldolesi, M.D., psychiatrist, and his wife, Emanuela Costa, M.D., internist. Its primary objective is to support the realization of medical-scientific and biotechnological research aimed at identifying the etiological mechanisms, the prevention and treatment of serious and disabling neurological and psychiatric diseases.
OPENING PARTY 01.12.06
In the time since its establishment, the Neurone Foundation has entered into and signed several collaborations with important Research Institutes.
The period from 2006 to 2011 was mainly characterized by the collaboration with the Epilepsy Surgery Unit of the IRCCS Neuromed Institute of Pozzilli (IS), as part of the Agreement Protocol signed on 22 November 2006. In particular, we would like to recall:
- the creation of the large database of clinical and instrumental data of the Epilepsy Surgery Unit (neurophysiological, radiological, laboratory, etc.), characterized by more than a thousand variables and half a million fields and aimed at optimizing the clinical and research activities of the Unit;
- the collaboration in the research activities of prof. Angelo Picardi, M.D., First Researcher of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) and psychiatrist, expert in research methodology and biostatistics, and the publication of several scientific papers in international journals.
- The purchase of IT and electronic devices;
- the contribution to the publication of the first scientific study co-funded by the Neurone Foundation entitled “Changes in depression, anxiety, anger, and personality after resective surgery for drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy: A 2-year follow-up study” – Epilepsy Research (2007) 77, 22—23.
- The set up of a scholarship in favor of Marco De Risi, Ph.D, as a neuropsychologist collaborator of the clinical and research activities of the Epilepsy Surgery Unit;
- the presentation of the study, ‘Personality, Depression, Anxiety and Anger in patients with drug-resistant Temporary Epilepsy before the temporal lobectomy and at the 1 and 2 years follow-up: a Controlled Study’, by Giulio Nicolò Meldolesi, M.D., at the Congress of the Italian Society of Psychopathology (SOPSI);
- the creation of social events aimed at information and fundraising. In detail, on 10.05.08, the “White Party”, an evening of fun and solidarity at the Piper disco in Rome. And on 15.11.08, at the Basilica of San Marco Evangelista al Campidoglio, the evening “Music for research: Gospel and Spiritual for scientific research”, concert by the polyphonic choir of Soul Singers conducted by Maestro Franco Riva.
- The contribution to the publication of the paper “Memory Outcome 2 years after anterior temporal lobectomy in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy” – Seizure (2009) 18, 139–144, first paper with affiliation “Neurone” and “Neuromed”;
- the realization of the international conference “New advances in biology and pathology of drug-resistant epilepsy”, organized in Pozzilli (IS) on May 8, 2009, in collaboration with the IRCCS Neuromed and sponsored by LICE – Italian League Against Epilepsy , which was attended by some of the most authoritative researchers in the sector from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands;
- the financing of the travel and subsequent period of study at the Department of Epileptology of the University of Bonn, Germany, of Liliana Grammaldo, Ph.D., and Marco De Risi, Ph.D., under the guidance of Prof. Helmstaedter;;
- as regards the social events aimed at information and fundraising, the realization of the first edition of the City of Gubbio Trophy, featuring the charity match City of Gubbio vs CalciAttori Team, on May 17, 2009, at the “Pietro Barbetti” Municipal Stadium of Gubbio, in collaboration with the CalciAttori Team Association and of the City of Gubbio.
- The contribution of the Neurone Foundation, through the involvement of prof. Angelo Picardi in the research activities of the Center for Epilepsy Surgery of the IRCCS Neuromed and the subsequent development of a network of contacts and professional relationships with Italian scholars in the field; and by means of the drafting and formalization of the Framework Agreement for Scientific Collaboration on epilepsy theme between the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) and all the IRCCS of Italian neurology and psychiatry (Fatebenefratelli, Mondino, Neuromed, Oasi, Stella Maris and Besta), for which Angelo Picardi is Scientific Responsible for ISS and Giancarlo Di Gennaro for the IRCCS Neuromed.
- by funding the trip and the subsequent study period of Fabio Sebastiano, Ph.D., and Antonio Sparano, M.D. in San Diego California, USA, in occasion of the 2nd International Workshop on Advances in Electrocorticography, on 11 and 12 November;
- within the “Brain Mapping and Brain-Computer Interface Project”, the purchase and concession to Neuromed of IT equipment equipped with advanced hardware and software requirements;
- participation in the European Pro Amateur International Golf Tournament – Memorial Mario Pinzi, which took place in Rome from October 29 to 31, on the fields of the Olgiata Golf Club and the Castelgandolfo Country Club.
- The payment of a fee to Luigi Pavone, Ph.D., for his contribution to the “Neuropace Project”;
- the payment of a fee to Giancarlo Di Gennaro, M.D., for the fundamental contribution to the drafting of the scientific works “Seizure Clusters and Adverse Events during Presurgical Video-Eeg Monitoring”, submitted to the journal Clinical Neurophysiology and “Surgery after Intracranial Investigation with Subdural Electrodes in Patients with Drug-Resistant Focal Epilepsy: Outcome and Complications ”, submitted to the Neurosurgical Review magazine;
- the purchase and concession to Neuromed of the Fujitsu Workstation, including 2 monitors, as part of the “Brain Mapping and Brain-Computer Interface Project”;
- the publication of the book Panic, Obsessions and Phobias: Psychobiology of the Anxiety by Dr. Giulio Nicolò Meldolesi, M.D., which includes the Appendix “Emotional changes after surgical treatment of drug-resistant temporal epilepsy: a 2-year follow-up study”, concerning the surgical treatment of drug-resistant epilepsies.
- The financing of the “Cyber Brain Innovation Pole” project, presented by the Neuromed Foundation (lead partner), Neurone Foundation and the Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology, admitted for funding (by directorial decree no. 968 of 11 November 2011 / Ric.) by the Ministry of Education, University and Research – MIUR).
- The year 2012 was mainly invested for the definition and preparation of the team of researchers, medical doctors and engineers, and for the architectural design of the scientific laboratories of the “Cyber Brain Innovation Pole” project.
The “Cyber Brain Innovation Pole” project
The objective of the “Cyber Brain Innovation Pole” enhancement project is the realization of a series of investments aimed at creating an Innovation Hub specialized in the neuro-cybernetics sector. The Hub will provide innovative solutions to the people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
The Neurone Onlus Foundation’s task is creating the neuro-prosthetic laboratory; the prosthetic, rehabilitation and assistance robotics lab; and brain-computer interface (BCI) lab, featuring high spatial resolution brain signal acquisition systems for BCI experiments.
The scientific activity of the Neurone Foundation was characterized by the realization of a series of studies.
- In support of the Epilepsy Surgery Unit clinical research, at the “Neuromed” IRCCS, the following are mentioned:
- the publication of the paper “Seizure clusters and adverse events during pre-surgical video-EEG monitoring with a slow anti-epileptic drug (AED) taper”, in the journal Clinical Neurophysiology 123 (2012): 486–488.
- the publication of the paper “Surgery after intracranial investigation with subdural electrodes in patients with resistant focal epilepsy: outcome and complications”, in the journal Neurosurgery Review 2012 Oct; 35 (4): 519-26;
- the publication of the paper “Prognostic significance of serial postoperative EEG in extratemporal lobe epilepsy surgery”, in the journal Clinical Neurophysiology 123 (2012): 2346-2351;
- the paper “Attachment and parenting in adult patients with anxiety disorders: a comparison with non-clinical controls and patients with epilepsy” accepted for publication, in the journal Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health.
- As part of the collaboration with the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Department of Mental Health, Center for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion (CNESPS), the Neurone Foundation followed the final realization of the two projects already described in the report of the 2010 activities (both expired on 14.03.12):
- Methodologically advanced program for the detection of perceived quality – The EUSAM study (User Experiences in Mental Health);
- Project on “Development and production of process indicators for residential and mental hospitalization facilities”.
- As part of the collaboration with Parkinzone Onlus and with the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of the “Sapienza” University of Rome, the Neurone Foundation financed and supported the realization of the S.T.E.P. Social theater, emotions and Parkinson’s Disease, an ambitious project that has combined the rehabilitative aspect of patients with Parkinson’s disease and the scientific aspect with a case-control study. The study started in February 2012 and has continued until 2013.
Scientific responsible is Prof. Giovanni Mirabella, Ph.D., who directs a group of researchers and neurologists from the Sapienza University. Medical director is Nicola Modugno, M.D. Director of the theater team is the actor Paolo De Vita who guides the teachers of the theater team.
As regards the creation of social events aimed at information and fundraising, with particular regard to the 5 x 1000, we would like to recall the gala evening of the Neurone Onlus Foundation which took place at the Rome Cavalieri on February 18, 2012, featuring the presentation of the Cyber Brain Innovation Pole Project as well as the participation of doctors, engineers, researchers, and those who supported the Neurone Foundation.
The evening was presented by the TV presenter Gabriella Facondo. The famous harpsichordist Andrea Coen performed a repertoire of English Baroque music, attended by his son, the actor Edoardo Coen, who declaimed some Shakespeare’s Sonnets.
Progress of the “Cyber Brain Innovation Pole” project, in which the OF1 training plan “Experts in the development of bionic systems with the Brain Computer Interface” is implemented.
The Neurone Foundation has set up 4 scholarships for specific professional figures to be trained in collaboration with university institutions and public and private research bodies at national and international level, with which the Foundation is in the process of entering into agreements and conventions for the realization of the planned enhancement objectives. In fact, starting from the Cyber Brain project, the Neurone Foundation is about to start a series of scientific collaborations with the Brain Machine Interface Laboratory of the Italian Institute of Technology Foundation – IIT of Genoa, whose team leader is Alessandro Vato, Ph.D; with Albany Medical College and Wadsworth Center, Albany, New York; and with the Neuroelectric Imaging Laboratory and Brain-Computer Interface of the IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation in Rome, whose coordinator is Donatella Mattia, M.D.
On September 12-13, 2014, the first international workshop “New frontiers in neurotechnology – clinical ad experimental realms” was organized in Naples by the Neurone Foundation at the SS. Marcellino and Festo monumental complex, with the participation of some of the most important scholars of the matter at national and international level.
The Cyber Brain Hub Lab was born, the first infrastructure in the South of Italy financed by MIUR with European Union funds entirely dedicated to the study of Neuroscience and Neurocybernetics, featuring highly valuable electronic equipment, purchased and selected by researchers.
The presentation of the new laboratories took place on November 3, 2015 on the occasion of the International Symposium “Beyond the frontiers of science: where neuroscience and neurotechnology meet”, organized by the Neurone Foundation and the Neuromed Foundation. The Symposium was attended by some of the most illustrious names of the national and international scientific panorama, with which, in these years, the Neurone foundation has developed collaborative relationships.
The activity of the Cyber brain Hub Lab is aimed at creating programs of brain-computer interfaces (Brain-Computer Interface), neuroprostetics, applied microelectronics and rehabilitation robotics. The final purpose of the applications of neuroprostetics, a branch of neurology that studies human-machine brain interfaces, consists in restoring the senses, motor functions and a normal life to individuals suffering from serious neurocerebral damage.
Open Day for Neuroscience an Cybernetics organized by the Neurone Foundation. Dozens of young entrepreneurs mainly from Campania are invited.
The aim is to implement Neuromarketing studies for the economic development of the territory.
After a 2 year slowdown in activities due to force majeure, i.e. the failure of the Ministry to pay the announced liquidation of the Project, in August 2018 the activities are restarted, following the disbursement of the balance due,
In 2019 the Foundation is winner of the National Operational Programme (PON) “SI Robotics Project” in partnership with several other partners:
- Exprivia SpA (Capofila)
- Item Oxigen Srl
- R2M Solution Srl
- Grifo Multimedia Srl
- Next2U Srl
- Cupersafety Srl
- Istituto Nazionale Riposo e Cura Anziani (INRCA)
- Fondazione Neurone Onlus
- Fondazione religione e di culto “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” – Opera di San Pio da Pietralcina
- Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento Sant’Anna (Responsabile scientifico)
- Università degli studi di Milano
- Università degli studi di Genova
- Università degli studi di Roma “Sapienza”
- Università politecnica delle Marche
- Fondazione Bruno Kessler
- Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
- Istituto Internazionale per gli Alti Studi Scientifici “Eduardo R. Caianiello”
The SI Robotics Project aims to develop robotic devices for improving the quality of life of the elderly, disabled and frail subjects, in relational and social areas.
The Si-Robotics project was financed by MIUR with the National Operational Program for Research and Innovation 2014-2020, within the ‘Technologies for living environments’ area.