Neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases pose an enormous burden to those affected and their family members, and cause exceedingly high costs to the health-care system. Because of demographic changes and increasing life-expectancy the number of people suffering from these disorders will dramatically increase in the decades to come, unless effective prevention and treatment strategies will be developed.
Over the past decades, population research has majorly contributed to insights in the complex genetic and non-genetic causes of neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases. Also, it has become increasingly clear that they typically develop over decades rather then years until they manifest late in life. To better understand and intervene on the development of complex disorders, one therefore has to investigate and act much earlier during the life course.
In this presentation I will first review the state-of-the art regarding population research into neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases. Next, I will outline why novel population-based cohort studies that take a life course approach are needed to identify causes and preclinical biomarker profiles of neurologic diseases. Taking the Rhineland Study that is currently being developed in Bonn, Germany as an example, I will
illustrate how the investigation of normal and pathological brain structure and function over the adult life course will strengthen our understanding and prevention of late-life neurologic diseases.
Investigador de contacte:
Dr. Joan Montaner