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EU Awards $25M for International Genetics, Environment Neurodegeneration Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The European Union has provided around £16 million ($25 million) to fund five international research programs aimed at identifying factors that make people more or less likely to develop age-related neurodegenerative diseases, the UK's Medical Research Council said today.

These projects, funded by the EU Joint Programming initiative on Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND), will investigate "innovative and ambitious approaches that would add value to existing research by identifying new genetic, epigenetic and environmental risk and protective factors associated with neurodegenerative disorders," the MRC said in a statement.

The projects JPND funded include a collaboration between researchers led by Akershus University Hospital and University of Oslo, Norway and King's College London that will study preclinical genotype-phenotype predictors of Alzheimer's disease and dementia; an effort to assess comprehensive unbiased risk factors for genetics and environment in Parkinson's disease at the University of Tübingen and University College, London; a project led by an investigator at the University of Cardiff to define the genetic, polygenic, and environmental risk factors for Alzheimer's disease; a partnership between the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and University College, London to study risk and modifying factors in frontotemporal dementia; and an effort coordinated by King's College London to study environmental and genetic targets for motor neuron health.