JPND announces call for multinational research on understanding the mechanisms of non-pharmacological interventions

The EU Joint Programme - Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) initiative has announced a joint transnational call for multinational research on understanding the mechanisms of non-pharmacological interventions.

Neurodegenerative diseases are debilitating and largely untreatable conditions that are strongly linked to age. Worldwide, there are estimated to be 50 million people suffering from Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, the most common class of neurodegenerative diseases. Existing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases are limited in effect and mainly address the symptoms rather than the cause or the progressive course.

Several non-pharmacological interventions have been shown to be effective and accepted by patients. Such interventions may include, among others, psychosocial interventions, neuromodulation, nutrition or exercise. Although neurodegenerative diseases are recognised as multifactorial syndromes, there is little interaction between biomedical and psychosocial approaches. One rationale for integrating biomedical and psychosocial research is the discordance between neuropathology and cognitive functioning. However, there is yet little knowledge about the mechanisms of non-pharmacological interventions, e. g. on the molecular or cellular level. With this in mind, JPNDhas identified a pressing need for investmentaimed at enabling research projects on understanding the mechanisms of non-pharmacological interventions.

In partnership with the European Commission, JPND is inviting multinational research teams to submit proposals for ambitious, innovative and multidisciplinary collaborative research projects aimed at understanding the biomedical, psychological and/or social mechanisms of non-pharmaceutical interventions in order to identify potential target sites for enhanced personalized interventions or a combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.

Proposals must focus on one or several of the following neurodegenerative diseases:

  • Alzheimer's disease and other dementias
  • Parkinson's disease and PD‐related disorders
  • Prion diseases
  • Motor neuron diseases
  • Huntington's disease
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA)
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

Proposals submitted under this call may include, but are not limited to, the following types of research:

  • Determining biomolecular and/or physical underpinnings of effects of non-pharmacological interventions;
  • Examining the mechanisms of effective non-pharmacological interventions on the molecular and cellular level by applying cutting-edge technologies;
  • Identification of the mechanisms of non-pharmacological interventions within the brain, using brain imaging, electrophysiology and other equivalent state-of-the-art techniques;
  • Identification of biological, psychological and social health markers and their associations to allow the identification of modifiable risk factors amenable to non-pharmacologicalinterventions and better predict and monitor the effects of these interventions for future large-scale clinical studies;
  • Elaborating modified concepts of non-pharmacological interventions with enhanced efficacy based on a deeper understanding of the mechanisms;
  • Identification of potential drug-target sites for a combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions;
  • Finding (individual) factors that predict response to interventions.

Pre-proposals must be submitted by the coordinator in electronic format no later than 12:00h (noon) C.E.T. on March 1, 2022.

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