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Synaptic mechanisms of memory loss: novel cell adhesion molecules as therapeutic targets

Objective

Memory loss is a central symptom in different diseases, and represents a significant social and economic burden for a large percentage of European citizens. The molecular and neurobiological bases of memory deficits are largely unknown and there are currently no drugs available that can markedly decelerate or prevent memory decline. To address this major problem, this project will investigate the role of novel synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) in memory loss, and the therapeutic value of targeting these CAMs to restore memory function and associated neurobiological mechanisms at the synaptic level. The selection of novel synaptic CAMs is based on (1) recent evidence showing that they can recruit the synaptic machinery and form synapses; (2) the implication of CAMs, in general, in synaptic plasticity and memory, and (3) a direct link established between synaptic remodelling and memory formation. We have assembled a multidisciplinary consortium including excellent European researchers in this field, covering a wide range of structural, biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioural expertise. To understand memory loss, three domains have been selected as among the most prominent and widespread disease domains affecting memory and quality of life in our society: psychiatric disorders, the neurodegenerative disorder of Alzheimer's disease, stress and aging. For each disease domain, specific and validated animal models will be used to investigate memory loss on molecular, subcellular, cellular and functional levels. Our approach will result in the preclinical development and validation of mimetic peptides for novel synaptic CAMs as potential drug candidates to treat memory deficits or prevent memory decline. The current proposal offers the groundbreaking possibility to raise the bar in memory research by targeting novel molecules and developing effective drugs to treat memory disturbances based on their biological mechanism.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/cell biology

Call for proposal

FP7-HEALTH-2007-A
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project

Coordinator

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Address
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne
Switzerland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 574 636,40
Administrative Contact
Carmen Sandi (Prof.)

Participants (8)

ENKAM PHARMACEUTICALS A/S

Participation ended

Denmark
EU contribution
€ 250 000
Address
Fruebjergvej, 3
2100 Copenhagen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Vladimir Berezin (Prof.)
KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN

Participation ended

Belgium
EU contribution
€ 219 363
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Tine Heylen (Ms.)
Klinik Max Planck Institut für Psychiatrie
Germany
EU contribution
€ 428 722
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Muenchen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Hartmut Lingner
AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 375 350
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Mar Garcia Ferrer
THE OPEN UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 452 960
Address
Walton Hall
MK7 6AA Milton Keynes
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Michael Stewart (Prof.)
INSTYTUT BIOLOGII DOSWIADCZALNEJ IM. M. NENCKIEGO POLSKIEJ AKADEMII NAUK
Poland
EU contribution
€ 290 600
Address
Ul. Ludwika Pasteura 3
02 093 Warszawa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Marcin Szumowski (Dr.)
SCIPROM SARL
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 124 200
Address
Rue Du Centre 70
1025 Saint Sulpice
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Kirsten Leufgen (Dr.)
NEOLOCH PHARMACEUTICALS APS
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 254 540,60
Address
Tjornekrogen 5
2820 Gentofte
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Elisabeth Bock (Prof.)