Mission: We explore neurodegenerative diseases with the aim of developing new preventive and therapeutic approaches for diseases such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Clinical Structures, Research Groups and Institutes: IRTC Neurodegenerative Diseases: This IRTC is supported by the newly founded Dpt. of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Geriatric Psychiatry, the Dpt. of Neurology, the Institute of Neuropathology, the Dpt. of Neuroradiology, the Institute of Human Genetics (Prof. M. Nöthen), the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry (Prof. A. Zimmer), the Institute for Reconstructive Neurobiology (Prof. O. Brüstle), the Center for Rare Diseases Bonn and the DZNE.
Research: The Dpts. of Neurodegenerative Diseases/ Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, together with the DZNE, developed specialized clinical-scientific units to recruit longitudinal, deeply phenotyped cohorts of patients with ataxia (Prof. T. Klockgether), Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Frontotemporal Dementia (Prof. A. Schneider). These cohorts enable translational research in cognition, imaging, (epi)genetics, and biomarker research.
Moreover, the IRTC aims at understanding the molecular mechanisms of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disease models (Prof. M. Heneka), which has resulted in high-ranking publications on the role of inflammasome activation in Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammasome-directed therapies are currently tested by the IRTC for clinical application. Research is also focused on microglia function in neurodegeneration, neuroprotection and regeneration, using embryonic and human induced pluripotent stem cells (Prof. H. Neumann),
Several groups investigate the mechanisms involved in aggregate formation, aggregate-related toxicity and propagation of neurotoxic protein aggregates (Prof. J. Walter, Prof. A.Schneider) and epigenetic mechanisms in neurodegeneration (Proffs. A. Zimmer, U. Wüllner, A. Ramirez) in collaboration with Clinical Neuropsychology (Prof. M. Wagner) using cohorts of deeply phenotyped patients and bioinformatics approaches. This research is complemented by groups and core facilities at DZNE ( e.g. Proffs. J. Schultze, M. Beyer, M. Capasso, I.Vorberg, D. DiMonte).