Over 250 million people suffer from Neurological Disorders (NDs) globally, of which approximately 41 million live in Europe. Treating NDs accounts for 35% of Europe’s total disease burden with a yearly cost of €798 billion. Yet comprehensive treatments for NDs are lacking.
NDs are complex at many levels: from molecular mechanisms through cellular manifestations and brain-wide effects, to the experience by individual patients and societal interpretation and acceptance. Current large-scale efforts to understand or treat NDs therefore rarely meet with complete success or universal acclaim. In this flagship, we propose to lay the groundwork for an integrative multidisciplinary approach that is necessary to understand the intricacies of ND manifestation, from the cellular to the phenomenological level. We will investigate NDs across scales, from molecule to society; across time, from conception to death; and across approaches, from biological to philosophical.
This flagship aims to create the first-of-its-kind cohesive and synergistic pipeline for the investigation and treatment of NDs. Through this pipeline we will accelerate the translation from therapeutic ideas to the clinical stage in the next 5 to 10 years. Concretely we will focus on the mTOR pathway, which is central to many NDs, including autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy.
The project consists of three Work Packages: Mapping, which focuses on techniques to acquire fundamental information about the brain throughout life; Understanding, which seeks to inquire, at every level, the difference between normal and diseased brains; and Intervention, which aims to translate findings to effective and accepted diagnostics and treatments. The project will fundamentally change the way NDs are being researched and treated. We will increase efficacy and usefulness of fundamental insights; increase the speed of bench to bedside translation; and increase the success and acceptance of proposed interventions, with the final aim of significantly decreasing the impacts of NDs