Tiny Technology to Tackle Alzheimer’s
Today, some 24 million people worldwide are affected by dementia with more than 4 million new cases recorded every year. This equates to a new case every eight seconds. To address these staggering figures, EU-funded researchers have engineered tiny particles to trace and treat Alzheimer’s – the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia or mental deterioration typically occurring in old age. In Europe alone, some five million people are reported to have dementia. Given Europe’s ageing population, these numbers are expected to rise dramatically.
Despite advances which have made interpretation of the molecular basis of the disease possible, there has been little progress in diagnosis and therapy. The EU-funded NAD project has been working to change that by developing nanoparticles which can be adapted to the specifics of what is known about the causes of this debilitating brain disorder.
The end-goal of the project is then to use the nanoparticles to detect and remove amyloid brain deposits in humans, once testing procedures are complete and regulatory approval is achieved.
The researchers are keen to communicate their findings as widely as possible to educate the public and stimulate dialogue on this important subject with other scientists. The NAD team has already published more than 50 articles in major biotechnology and nanotechnology journals.
- Project acronym: NAD
- Participants: Italy (Coordinator), UK, Hungary, France, Slovakia, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, Belgium
- Project FP7 212043
- Total costs: € 14 365 090
- EU contribution: € 10 921 350
- Duration: September 2008 – August 2013
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Source: European Commission