NPlast - A neuroscience school that aims to preser.. (NPLAST)
NPlast - A neuroscience school that aims to preserve and restore neuroplasticity in brain disorders
Start date: Jan 1, 2012,
End date: Dec 31, 2015
Brain disorders impose an increasing economical and social burden in the member states of the European Union (EU). For most neurodegenerative diseases and many neuropsychiatric disorders no efficient treatment is available and no cure exists. In the next coming years the number of particularly elderly people suffering from brain disorders will tremendously increase. Predictions from the turn of the century about the exponential increase of dementia patients turned out to be correct and Alzheimer’s disease alone is underway to become the most expensive and most pressing health problem in the EU. The complexity of these diseases requires a more integrative view of the multiple interactions between genes and environment, synaptic processes and neuronal cicuitry. This is, however, not only achieved by training more young scientists in the relevant disciplines. The plastic properties of the brain can only be exploited by scientists that are trained to deal with this complexity and that are familiar with state of the art technology as well as with the principles at different levels of analysis. In consequence it is advisable for a training network to study more than one disease and to train scientists with a wide range of skills and background knowledge. The NPlast consortium consists of four partners from the private and seven partners from the public sector and will provide a research training program for fifteen young scientists. The program covers a broad spectrum of disorders and interventions ranging from synaptopathies and trafficking deficiencies to Alzheimer’s disease, and from altering gene expression programs to manipulations of the extracellular matrix of the brain to preserve or restore synaptic function. The key objective of the NPlast training network is to investigate neuroplastic principles that can preserve or restore function and that can be used to ‚rejuvenitate’ the brain in the elderly as well as to treat neuropsychiatric conditions in adults.
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