Project: Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases (AD and PD) are the two most common neurodegenerative conditions. They cause major costs for society and suffering and death for millions of patients around the globe. In Europe, more than 8 million individuals have AD or PD. Current treatments are symptomatic but do not stop the underlying disease process. Using biomarkers, we can detect biochemical changes that show when neurons start to die. There are also biochemical tests for brain changes that are specific to AD and PD. Studies suggest that such abnormalities start to appear 10-20 years before onset of symptoms. If we want to do something substantial about these diseases, we need to diagnose them early, before too many neurons have been lost, and then treat them with drugs that inhibit the destructive process. Such drugs are in development. However, in these very early stages of the disease we cannot rely on clinical symptoms, as they may be very subtle, or even absent. Instead, research tells us that we could use biomarkers for disease-specific pathologies. Established biomarkers exist for early AD and promising candidates are underway for PD. However, a major problem today is the lack of standardisation regarding exactly how to perform and use the biomarker tests. In BIOMARKAPD we detail how we will standardise the biomarker measurements across Europe, how to collect samples, how to perform the measurements and how to interpret the results. We will also create a biobank with samples from well characterised AD and PD patients, including patients in very early disease stages, as well as neurologically healthy controls. These samples will be used to develop new and better assays and to test new and better biomarker candidates. Finally, we will develop certified reference materials that can be used to harmonise assays that are used to measure the different biomarkers. The deliverables of the proposal will have a major influence on clinical research and drug development for neurodegenerative conditions in general and for AD and PD in particular. They will impact these types of efforts globally and make Europe world-leading in this area.

Acronym BIOMARKAPD (Reference Number: JPND-304-014)
Duration 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2015
Project Topic Neurodegenerative disease
Website visit project website
Network JPND
Call Pilot JPND Joint Transnational Call for optimisation of biomarkers and harmonisation of their use

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Karolinska Institutet Alzheimer Disease Research Center Coordinator Sweden
2 McGill University, Montreal Partner Canada
3 Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen Univ Hospital Partner Denmark
4 Statens Serum Institut Partner Denmark
5 University of Eastern Finland Partner Finland
6 Turku University Hospital Partner Finland
7 Salpetriere University Hospital (UPMC - University Paris 6) Partner France
8 CHRU de Montpellier Partner France
9 Université Lyon 1 Partner France
10 Universität Duisburg-Essen Partner Germany
11 German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Partner Germany
12 Paracelsus-Elena-Klinik + Georg August University Göttingen Partner Germany
13 Universitätsklinikum Erlangen Partner Germany
15 University of Ulm Partner Germany
16 Ruhr University Bochum Partner Germany
17 Heinrich Heine University Medical School, Düsseldorf Partner Germany
18 University of Leipzig Partner Germany
19 Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim Partner Germany
20 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Partner Greece
21 University of Athens Partner Greece
22 Trinity College Dublin Partner Ireland
23 IRCCS Foundation Santa Lucia Partner Italy
24 IRCCS Foundation Carlo Besta Partner Italy
25 IRCCS Foundation San Giovanni Di Dio Fatebenefratelli Partner Italy
26 University of Luxembourg Partner Luxembourg
27 String of Pearls Initiative Neurodegeneration Partner Netherlands
28 Akershus University Hospital Partner Norway
29 International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IIMCB) Partner Poland
30 Jagiellonian University College of Medicine (UJ) Partner Poland
31 IMDiK, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre Partner Poland
32 Scinawa, Wroclaw Medical University Partner Poland
33 Instituto de Medicina Molecular Partner Portugal
34 University of Coimbra Partner Portugal
35 University of Aveiro Partner Portugal
36 Slovak Academy of Science Partner Slovakia
37 University Medical Centre, Ljubljana Partner Slovenia
38 ICN Hospital Clinic i Universitari Partner Spain
39 Hospital Sant Pau Partner Spain
40 Pasqual Maragall Foundation - Barcelonabeta Brain Research Center Partner Spain
41 University Miguel Hernández-CSIC, CIBERNED Partner Spain
42 Skåne University Hospital Partner Sweden
43 The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg Partner Sweden
44 University of Zurich, Psychiatric & University Hospital Partner Switzerland
45 University of Geneva Hospital Partner Switzerland
46 Dokuz Eylul University Partner Turkey
47 Hacettepe University Partner Turkey
48 Istanbul University Partner Turkey