The EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) will launch a new cohesive action with the European Commission – a call for “Linking pre-diagnosis disturbances of physiological systems to Neurodegenerative Diseases”.
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.
The development of efficient treatments for most neurodegenerative disease is hindered by the fact that their detection intervenes at late stages in which the integrity of the nervous tissue is very compromised. Purely characterised early physiological disturbances are known to appear before unambiguous symptoms of each neurodegenerative disease are detected. These changes may include, among others, disruption of sleep, olfaction, hearing, vision, metabolic factors as well as social engagement. All these signs have the potential to be used as early indicators of later diseases, and in most cases have the advantage that they are measurable in natural everyday life environments. Since some of these changes are very likely early indicators of nervous system dysfunction, the identification of the circuits and molecular pathways being affected might reveal promising targets for early interventions and therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.
For this reason, JPND launches this joint transnational call with a view to promoting research aiming at the detection, measurement and understanding of early disease indicators related to neurodegenerative diseases, with potential for the development of new diagnostics or interventions. Proposals to this call must be ambitious, innovative, multi-disciplinary and multi-national, i.e. include research teams from at least three different countries.
The FNR has allocated 500,000 EUR for this Call, which is expected to fund 1 – 2 projects involving Luxembourg partners.
- The Luxembourg project partner needs to be eligible for FNR funding.
- Pre and full proposals must additionally be submitted to the FNR, along with the FNR INTER documents, no later than 7 working days after the JPND deadlines. This must be done via the FNR Grant Management System.
This will be a two-step call, expected to be launched in early January 2021, with a likely pre-proposal submission deadline in early March 2021. Further details will be provided with the launch of the call.