Dutch involvement in international research on dementia and Parkinson

Dutch researchers are involved in half of the approved consortiums of the international EU Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Diseases Research (JPND). They are working on knowledge and expertise on non-pharmacological interventions for people with neurodegenerative disease thanks to funding by ZonMw and Alzheimer Nederland.

What do the consortiums focus on?

The multidisciplinary consortiums that will launch will focus on the mechanisms behind existing non-pharmacological interventions for neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Non-pharmacological interventions include nutrition, exercise, psychosocial interventions and neuromodulation. This knowledge will enable researchers to work toward personalised treatment for people with a neurodegenerative disease.

How many studies will start?

14 proposals have been approved by JPND out of a total of 39 grant applications received. Dutch researchers are involved in seven of these applications, and in three of these applications the Dutch researcher is the Consortium coordinator.

Which consortiums with Dutch researchers have been approved?   


Physical exercise has been shown to protect from Alzheimer's disease through unknown mechanisms. In the EXERBRAIN consortium the researchers will test the hypothesis that the protective effect of exercise on Alzheimer's disease is mediated by normalization of brain (lipid) metabolism in Alzheimer's disease.
Dutch coordinator:  Dr. Rik van der Kant, Amsterdam University Medical Center


Treadmill training has demonstrated substantial and well-proven benefits in improving gait and reducing falls. The StepuP consortium will determine how the well-proven outcomes from non-pharmacological treadmill training relate to the biomechanical, physiological, and neural changes that underlie intervention success and how these effects transfer to daily life.
Dutch coordinator: Prof. dr. Jaap van Dieën, Free University Amsterdam


Cueing can be highly effective in improving mobility, but not every patient benefits equally from the same cueing strategy. Improving the understanding of the key mechanisms underlying compensation at the neurological systems level will help to refine cueing strategies and their timely delivery for a hallmark impairment in PD.
Dutch coordinator: Dr. Jorik Nonnekes, Radboud Universitair Medisch Centrum


Intestinal microbiota is tightly associated with controlling the innate and adaptive immune system which may influence AD development. Determining the cellular mechanisms driving pathological imprinting and how to manipulate it by diet-induced microbial changes will provide fundamental knowledge for early prevention, identification of adults at high risk to develop AD, and establishment of new therapies to treat AD.

Dutch partner: Evgenia Salta, Nederland Instituut voor Neurowetenschappen

Good Vibes

The consortium Good Vibes aim to prevent Alzheimer's disease by monitored vibration treatment. The researchers will focus on novel electroacoustic vibration treatment (EAC) and removal of β-amyloid plaques with focused ultrasound (FUS), a treatment that can restore memory in mice.

Dutch partner: Prof. Jurgen Claassen, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour


The Multi-MeMo consortium will investigate the basis of combining different interventions (a multimodal approach) and develop an intervention model. In this way, they want to contribute to a personalized approach to prevent or delay dementia onset.

Nederlandse partner: Prof. Wiesje van der Flier Amsterdam Universitair Medisch Centrum, locatie VUmc


The REBALANCE consortium will focus on focused ultrasound (FUS), a non-invasive, ground-breaking technique suggested for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The researchers will unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying these beneficial effects of FUS. Together they will take a step towards more efficient treatment of patients with AD.
Nederlandse partner: Prof. Arn Maagdenberg, Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden

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