Neurodegenerative diseases are debilitating and still largely untreatable conditions. They are characterised by a large variability in their origins, mechanisms and clinical expression. When searching for a medical solution, e.g. a treatment or an optimised approach for care, this large variability constitutes a major hurdle if not controlled. Indeed a treatment addressing one disease pathway may not be useful for all patients experiencing the relevant symptoms. Thus, one of the greatest challenges for treating neurodegenerative diseases is the deciphering of this variability.
JPND has chosen to focus in the area of Precision Medicine, which relates to the targeting of specific elements responsible for pathology in a given individual at a particular point in time. It is an emerging approach for disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment that takes into account individual variability in genes, biological/molecular characteristics together with environmental and lifestyle factors.
Thus, the upcoming call for multidisciplinary research proposals conducted by JPND and the European Commission will focus on Precision Medicine in the following research areas:
- Diagnosis (e.g. biomarkers, imaging data, omics approaches, big data analyses)
- Prevention (e.g. biomarkers for studying novel treatments and interventions, co-morbidities, digital technologies, stratification within cohort studies and clinical trials)
- Care (e.g. improvement of social and health care systems, molecular profiling, imaging, lifestyle data)
The following neurodegenerative diseases are included in the call:
- 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)
This will be a two-step call, expected to be launched in early January 2019, with a likely pre-proposal submission deadline in March 2019. Further details will be provided with the launch of the call.
All information regarding future JPND call topics is subject to change.
Final call information will be published on the JPND website (www.jpnd.eu).