Brain Imaging Return to Health
Start date: Sep 1, 2013,
End date: Aug 31, 2017
Extended lifespan is a new and permanent feature of human life globally. The demographic for population growth of persons over 60 years is predicted to expand by 70% and 400% respectively in developed and less developed regions during the coming decades. Ageing, is accompanied by cognitive decline and greater risk of depression and anxiety. Major drug companies have recently cutback significantly on development of drugs against brain disorders due to lack of new avenues of research. Thus the responsibility falls on academic labs to make breakthroughs to improve brain health.This consortium gathers experts on molecular mechanisms of age-associated pathologies including depressive disorders and anxiety, and neurodegeneration. Specifically, they focus on identification of stress-regulated molecules provoking neuronal death and hindering neurogenesis, and monitoring the consequences of these processes in human brain.The groups combine biological and medical imaging techniques with behavioral studies and proteomics to define molecular mechanisms of ageing and neurogenesis. Using biotechnology, they will create new tools to isolate neurogenic cells from aged brain, thus aiding research strategies an early stage. Four leading imaging infrastructures from across Europe selected from the ESFRI Eurobioimaging Proof-of Concept list have been selected as partners to facilitate this training and research program. Confocal and high-content imaging is used to define ageing pathways, proteomics and genomics to visualize effectors of pathological ageing, transgenic mice to study neurogenesis and MRI/MRS to identify and localize new depression-related parameters in select patient populations. This multi-faceted approach aims to (i) identify druggable targets and identify reagents to interfere with pathways contributing to depression and anxiety, and (ii) produce novel tools to image depression-associated events in brain, facilitating earlier diagnosis and intervention.
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