Category Archives: JPND News

Many longitudinal cohort studies exist across Europe that hold the kind of data that would help researchers better understand the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. To help researchers get the most out of this cohort data, JPND funded ten international, expert Working Groups beginning in 2014. The objective of this initiative was to develop recommendations and guidelines for maximizing the benefits of research using longitudinal cohorts.

JPND has compiled the results of the Working Groups’ reports in a paper published in Frontiers in Neuroscience.

JPND continues to emphasize the importance of cohort studies and is committed to helping researchers access cohort data by preparing the launch of a user-friendly Global Cohort Portal entirely dedicated to neurodegenerative diseases, to go live in autumn, 2017.

For Public to Public Partnerships (P2Ps), impact assessment is an important objective, as underscored by the attendees of the Annual Joint Programming Conference of 2016. To that end, adequate Monitoring and Evaluation processes must be developed and implemented.

JPND’s 2016-2017 recalibration of its monitoring and evaluation framework in order to improve impact assessment has been featured as a case study on the ERA-LEARN 2020 website. Citing JPND as a good-practice example, the case study lays out the main sources, processes, challenges and key benefits of the recalibration process, as well as the underlying rationales for refining its impact assessment capabilities. To access the full case study, click here.

The EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), will host a half-day workshop led by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 12, 2017, focused on fostering cooperation in neurodegenerative disease research. The workshop will take place as part of Meet In Italy for Life Sciences, a three-day event in Turin, Italy. Registration for the meeting, which is free, is now open.

JPND has already engaged with pharmaceutical companies over the past several years and now wants to better understand other industry sectors such as diagnostic, IT, medical devices, care and imaging as well as small and medium enterprises.

With this in mind, the primary goal of the workshop is to begin a two-way conversation with industries active in the neurodegenerative disease field in order to:

  • ascertain their priorities
  • get their views on JPND’s current priorities
  • seek consensus on industry’s requirements for collaborative activity with the academic sector and other stakeholders (e.g., funders, regulators)

The outputs of the meeting will help to foster cooperation between academia and industry in research on neurodegenerative diseases, and will serve to orient JPND’s research activity and investment over the coming decade.

A detailed agenda of the workshop will be available shortly.

For more information on the program of the workshop, please contact Valeria Cardia at or by phone at +39 06 5849 7333.

To register for the workshop please send an e-mail to

Registration is limited, and participants will be selected based on their area of expertise and location in order to ensure geographically diverse representation at the event.


Introducing the first global database of cohorts for neurodegenerative diseases

To promote the use and connection of cohort studies, the Joint Programme for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) has developed a new online gateway to longitudinal cohorts suitable for neurodegenerative disease (ND) research.

The JPND Global Cohort Portal is a searchable database of cohort studies from countries around the world. By providing users with an overview of and contact details for each cohort, this publicly available resource aims to facilitate information exchange and new collaborations, to help promote a greater volume of ND research, increased efficiency and ultimately greater scientific impact. The Portal is expected to debut on the JPND website in Autumn 2017 and will continue to grow as new cohorts are added.

How does it work?
The Portal spans both disease-focused and general population studies, providing a high-level overview of each cohort, including the types of data collected. Once the most relevant cohorts are identified, Portal users may navigate directly to the individual cohort website or contact the principal investigator for further information and guidance on how to use the cohort as a resource.

Why cohorts?
Longitudinal cohort studies allow researchers to collect data on populations over time in order to establish high-quality correlations and tease out new clues regarding the determinants and risk factors of disease. As such, cohorts are among the most important tools for current and future research on neurodegeneration.

As outlined in a 2013 JPND report linking and comparing studies could lead to important insights and statistically more powerful conclusions. Yet detailed information on cohort studies is often difficult to find, and identifying and connecting with the right contacts from each cohort can pose additional challenges. The JPND Global Cohort Portal was developed to meet these needs.

How can I get involved?
The JPND Global Cohort Portal will continue to expand. If you have information regarding a relevant cohort study that could be included, we encourage you to get in touch. For this and any other questions, emails should be directed to:

The Network of Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (CoEN) is now accepting applications to its 2017 Pathfinder III call.

CoEN is an international initiative involving nine research funders in Europe and Canada that aims to build productive collaborative research activity in neurodegeneration research across borders. CoEN is aligned with JPND although it operates as an independent entity.

With this latest call, CoEN seeks to address the need for innovative research to underpin new approaches to therapeutic intervention. It is expected that teams will combine the research strengths across centres of excellence (CoEs) in at least two partner countries to provide a true value-added collaborative effort that will advance our approach to neurodegeneration research.

This call for Pathfinder projects is being launched by seven of the nine research funders that are members of CoEN:

  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche, ANR (France)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, CIHR (Canada)
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, DZNE (Germany)
  • Instituto de Salud Carlos III, ISCIII (Spain)
  • Ministero della Salute, MDS (Italy)
  • Medical Research Council, MRC (UK)
  • Science Foundation Ireland, SFI (Republic of Ireland)

These seven agencies are contributing approximately €5.5M to fund awards made under the call involving their national CoEs.

To learn more about the call and to apply, visit the CoEN call page.

Prof. Philippe Amouyel, Chair of the JPND Management Board, discusses JPND progress and priorities for the future in issue one of Pan European Networks: Health.

In the interview, Prof. Amouyel outlines some of JPND’s major recent and future developments and discusses the ongoing JPND call for research projects for pathway analysis across neurodegenerative diseases.

Click here to read the full article.

The trio of Presidencies of the Council of the European Union 2016-2017 (the Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta) have signed a Joint Statement on Dementia, issued during the meeting of the governmental expert group on dementia in Malta on May 15-16, 2017.

The statement calls on the European Commission and EU Members States to promote and support international cooperation in dementia research and improve the coordination of existing European research programmes such as JPND.

Click here to download the full statement.

The EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) has announced a joint trans-national call for research projects for pathway analysis across neurodegenerative diseases.

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are a global health, economic and social emergency.  More than 40 million people worldwide are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders – the most common class of neurodegenerative disease – and this figure is expected to significantly increase in the coming decades. Yet, with the exception of a few cases, no curative treatment exists, and the basic underlying mechanisms of many neurodegenerative diseases remain poorly understood.

With this in mind, JPND has identified an urgent need for targeted investment to better understand the fundamental links between different diseases. There is already clinical, genetic and biochemical evidence that similar molecular pathways are relevant in different neurodegenerative and other chronic diseases. This call, which follows a similar call successfully launched by JPND in 2013, will see 23 million made available to applicants from 20 countries. It invites proposals for ambitious, innovative, multinational and multidisciplinary collaborative research projects to perform network analyses across diseases in order to further elucidate the common underlying mechanisms involved. This combined analysis could lead to a re-definition of clinical phenotypes and new approaches in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

According to Professor Philippe Amouyel, Chair of JPND:
“JPND recognises that a critical step in the path to effective treatments or preventive strategies for neurodegenerative diseases is a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of these diseases. What recent research has made clear is that these conceptual advancements will require greater thinking across traditional clinical boundaries. With this call, some €23 million will be made available to applicants to develop highly specialised cross-border projects that could lead to a better understanding of the biological underpinnings of neurodegenerative disease. Our hope is that these developments will in turn lead to new, outside-the-box diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.”

The neurodegenerative diseases included in the call are Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and PD‐related disorders, prion diseases, motor neuron diseases (such as ALS), Huntington’s disease, spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Pre-proposals must be submitted no later than 23:59h C.E.T. on March 6, 2017.

For more information about the call, please click here.

The OECD has published a new report summarising the second Lausanne Workshop on “Global Action to Drive Innovation in Alzheimer’s disease and other Dementias – Connecting Research, Regulation and Access.” The workshop was held on 15-16 December 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The aim of this workshop was to review the policy and stakeholder actions needed to accelerate biomedical research and health innovation for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Among stakeholders, there was a consensus that a move to action-oriented programmes and implementation in Alzheimer’s disease was critical.

To download the full report, entitled “Global Action to Drive Innovation in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias,” click here.