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Impact of Prenatal Stress on BRAIN AGEing

Objective

Healthy brain ageing is a major determinant of quality life-long health, allowing integration into society at all ages. Human epidemiological and animal studies indicate that in addition to life style and genetic factors, environmental influences in prenatal life have a major impact on brain ageing and age-associated brain disorders. We hypothesize that: (1) prenatal stress programs early brain ageing; (2) this predisposes to age-associated brain diseases including cognitive decline and stroke; (3) epigenetic changes affecting glucocorticoid receptor (GR) sensitivity, altered autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactivity and cerebrovascular tone are important mediators of these processes, (4) these changes represent targets for diagnosis and therapeutic interventions.
Our consortium has unique access to well-defined human and non-human primate cohorts (age range 25-115 y equivalents) that have been exposed to different types of prenatal stress. For experimental analysis of mechanisms of prenatal programming, we apply innovative techniques to characterize brain ageing, namely MRI based volumetry, non-linear analysis of EEG and ANS, advanced molecular techniques including epigenetics and metabolomics and neuropsychological and behavioral tests.
Human subjects, non-human primates and rodents (including transgenic models) exposed to maternal stress, glucocorticoids or undernutrition are examined in order to: (1) determine structural (MRI based volumetry) and functional (metabolomics, brain function, cerebrovascular tone) indicators of brain age, (2) relate them to susceptibility to stroke and cognitive decline, (3) determine to what extent GR resistance, stress sensitivity, and cerebrovascular contractility mediate premature brain ageing and disease susceptibility; and, (4) dissect mechanisms and pharmacological interventions relevant for aged subjects. Data from the study allow to identify subjects at risk for premature brain ageing and to initiate interventional therapy.

Call for proposal

FP7-HEALTH-2011-two-stage
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

Universitätsklinikum Jena
Address
Bachstraße 18
07743 Jena
Germany
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 076 295,60
Administrative Contact
Matthias Schwab (Prof.)

Participants (9)

LEIBNIZ-INSTITUT FUR ALTERNSFORSCHUNG - FRITZ-LIPMANN-INSTITUT EV (FLI) LEIBNIZ INSTITUTE ON AGING - FRITZ LIPMANN INSTITUTE EV (FLI)
Germany
EU contribution
€ 269 544
Address
Beutenbergstrasse 11
07745 Jena
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Babette Scherneck (Ms.)
KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 71 428,80
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Elke Lammertyn (Dr.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM

Participation ended

United States
EU contribution
€ 271 766,25
Address
Colorado Street 601
78701 2982 Austin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Chris Green (Mr.)
BIOCRATES LIFE SCIENCES AG
Austria
EU contribution
€ 303 585,60
Address
Eduard Bodem Gasse 8 1 Stock
6020 Innsbruck
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Denise Sonntag (Dr.)
ACADEMISCH MEDISCH CENTRUM BIJ DE UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 355 542,40
Address
Meibergdreef 15
1105AZ Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Salena Voorneman
LIFE LENGTH SL
Spain
EU contribution
€ 115 800
Address
Calle Miguel Angel 11 2 Planta
28010 Madrid
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Stephen Matlin (Mr.)
STICHTING KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT BRABANT
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 217 279,20
Address
Warandelaan 2
5037 AB Tilburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Jane Pinas (Ms.)
UNIVERSITAET ULM
Germany
EU contribution
€ 216 144
Address
Helmholtzstrasse 16
89081 Ulm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Jerg Reiner (Mr.)
UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING
United States
EU contribution
€ 101 034,15
Address
1000 E. University Avenue, Department 3355
82071 Laramie, Wy
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Linda Gay Osterman