“A call for European research projects on neurodegenerative diseases: risk and protective factors, longitudinal cohort approaches and advanced experimental models”
Topic 1: Genetic, epigenetic and environmental risk and protective factors of neurodegenerative diseases
The aim of the first topic is to attract international teams of researchers who will explore the different processes at work in normal aging versus neurodegenerative aging and determine what role genetic and environmental factors can play. Factors such as family history, gender, stress levels, nutrition and others, can affect an individual’s risk, and provide protection from, or even resilience to, neurodegenerative diseases. However, it is likely that a combination of factors are involved, so a critical step will be to establish the relationship between genetic, epigenetic, environmental and social factors and their relative importance in order to identify those factors that can be changed or modified. This topic is a re-launch of the 2012 JPND call in this priority area. Details of the currently-supported JPND projects in this area are available here on the JPND website.
Countries participating in this topic (20): Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom
Topic 2: Longitudinal cohort approaches in neurodegenerative diseases
The goal of this topic is to further scientific progress at a transnational level by enhancing the capabilities of existing cohort studies, or by linking related cohort studies in a synergistic way. This may include bringing together well-characterised relevant cohort groups to harmonize, or make accessible, data to promote secondary analysis; adding new measurements, sample collections or data sweeps that add significant value or provide linkage to other studies; establishing novel assessment measures, taking advantage of new technologies, extending beyond the cognitive domain (i.e. motor and perceptual function) that can be applied to the broad spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases; delivering methodological developments or enhancements to establish cohorts as intervention platforms.
Countries participating in this topic (21): Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom
Topic 3: Advanced animal or cell experimental models of neurodegenerative diseases This topic aims to support the creation of experimental models that are more predictive of neurodegenerative diseases. This is a key barrier to progress in research as most of the current models are unable to take into account the multiple genetic and environmental factors that lead to the development of these diseases. However, in order to reproduce the complexity of these diseases there is a need for consensus in validating the platforms to be provided, which can only be achieved through a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses the best teams in a collaborative effort at a transnational level. Therefore, this topic encourages the implementation of a next generation of reliable and well characterized animal and cell models for neurodegenerative diseases. This may include the development of novel animal models for specific diseases to better reproduce the complexity of the clinical features of the disease in humans, the enhancement of existing animal models, e.g., by fostering a deeper characterization of the phenotypes and pathologies, and the exploitation of novel or the improvement of existing neuronal, neuronal-like cells or inducible pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, generated from different sources.
Countries participating in this topic (20): Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey