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International cooperation to set research guidelines on neurodegenerative diseases

Berlin, Germany – Representatives of the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have signed a cooperation agreement that aims to establish and apply harmonized guidelines and technologies for research on neurodegenerative diseases. The lack of common standards so far has made it difficult for researchers to compare and validate research results. Ensuring comparability means that results achieved in laboratories will benefit patients faster.

All three cooperation partners possess special expertise in various fields ranging from basic to clinical research. The DZNE can contribute special know-how in the area of biomarkers and clinical studies.

“This cooperation is of great importance for German research on neurodegenerative diseases,” says Prof Pierluigi Nicotera, scientific director and chairman of the executive board at the DZNE. “We hope to be able to contribute our expertise to develop new strategies to preventing and curing these diseases.” He also emphasizes that common technological platforms and the international standardization of approaches are crucial to facilitating the transfer of fundamental discoveries into patient benefits.

“We are proud to work with our colleagues in Germany and the UK to fund research addressing neurodegenerative disorders, in particular on Alzheimer’s disease. We firmly believe that it will require a concerted global research effort to better understand these disorders, improve diagnosis and treatment, and ultimately find a cure for diseases that affect millions of people,” said Dr Rémi Quirion, executive director of the international collaborative research strategy for Alzheimer’s disease at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

To reach their goals, each of the three centres will allocate 1 million euros. This will serve as starting capital to finance various measures in the three centres. In addition to workshops and the compilation of guidelines, the money will also be specifically used to fund projects in the centres that work according to these guidelines and methods and will advance the research field as a whole.

Negotiations are currently underway with other European research organizations to join the cooperative agreement.