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The AgedBrainSYSBIO Project: Alzheimer's research underway [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

While science has achieved a broad understanding of the genetic, molecular and system-level biological principles of human ageing, cognitive decline remains one of the greatest health challenges of old age. Nearly 50% of adults over 85 are afflicted by neurodegenerative diseas...
The AgedBrainSYSBIO Project: Alzheimer's research underway
While science has achieved a broad understanding of the genetic, molecular and system-level biological principles of human ageing, cognitive decline remains one of the greatest health challenges of old age. Nearly 50% of adults over 85 are afflicted by neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, with an estimated number of global sufferers around 24 million people. Some 4.6 million new cases are reported every year, which translates to one every seven seconds.

The scale of the disease makes it one of the greatest public health challenges for modern societies, not only in terms of costs but also in terms of cause, cure and care. There are still no curative drugs, with only symptomatic treatment able to delay the disease's progression. To address all these issues, European Commission-funded research efforts are crucial.

Financed by the Commission under the Health Work Programme of the 7th Framework Programme, the AgedBrainSysBio project is one of the initiatives tasked with developing new approaches to Alzheimer's treatment.

The group of European academic laboratories and industrial scientists from SMEs which form the core of the project - which was officially launched on 18 March in Paris - will study the basis of brain ageing, focusing on the pathways involved in this process. They will also monitor the interactions through which the observable physical and biochemical characteristics of ageing develop in normal and in disease conditions.

On this basis, novel pathways and their evolutionary properties will be modelled and experimentally tested with a view to creating preventative and curing treatments of ageing cognitive defects.

"This ambitious project integrates numerous European initiatives as well as national research programmes, which address the scientific and societal challenge of neurodegenerative diseases," says Michel Simonneau, MD PhD, Professor at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, who coordinates the project.

"This project receives the decisive input of four SMEs which allows us to get candidate solutions for curing and preventing common age-related diseases," Prof Simonneau adds. "The links between academia and industry is the driving force of this work programme and in the end will hopefully be of benefit to us all.
Source: Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm)

Related information

Record Number: 35621 / Last updated on: 2013-03-29
Category: Project
Provider: EC