European initiative to study imaging, brain stimulation

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A European research initiative is hoping to gather research efforts to see if novel imaging and brain stimulation methods and technologies can stem the rise of neurodegenerative diseases.

The EU Joint Programme is announcing the effort which is looking to find new ways to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia; Parkinson’s disease and related disorders; Prion diseases; motor neuron diseases; Spinocerebellar ataxia; Huntington’s disease and spinal muscular atrophy.

The effort is called the EU Joint Programme—Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) initiative, and is designating 18 million Euros to fund the project. It’s looking for research proposals to be submitted by March 6.

Proposals must focus on one, or several, of the following research areas:

· Imaging technologies
· Development of novel imaging technologies
· Improvements to the application of existing cutting-edge imaging technologies.
· Brain stimulation techniques
· New or improved applications of both invasive and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques for the treatment and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.

JPND was established to better coordinate research efforts across countries and disciplines to find causes more rapidly, develop cures and identify better ways to care for people with neurodegenerative diseases.

Emerging technologies have shown promise in recent years in treating these degenerative ddiseases, JPND executives contend. These include the use of imaging and analysis technologies, from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to position emission tomography (PET) to molecular imaging, at both a molecular and a whole body imaging level.

Similarly, researchers believe that brain stimulation techniques, such as deep brain stimulation, neuromodulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) could improve treatment. While these techniques help to better understand, treat or diagnose neurodegenerative diseases, there is a need to assess the potential of these approaches to deliver new and better treatment options. That’s why JPND is inviting multinational research teams to submit proposals for ambitious, innovative, multinational and multidisciplinary collaborative research projects.

“The incredible progresses of brain imaging and brain stimulation during the last 10 years—thanks to the development of new technologies, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence—offer new opportunities to better diagnose and alleviate the consequences of neurodegenerative diseases,” says Philippe Amouyel, a professor at the University of Lille (France) and chair of the JPND Management Board says. “We hope that this highly competitive call will allow us to assess the potential of these approaches to deliver new and better treatment options.”

More information can be found here.

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