Neurodegenerative disorders

Pathology of neurodegenerative diseases

Protein misfolding and disturbed proteostasis are key events in many neurodegenerative disorders. In general, protein aggregates and inclusion in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are composed of either Amyloid-beta or tau, in Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) of alpha-synuclein, in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) of prion protein and in frontotemporal lobar degenerations (FTLD) of tau, TDP-43, Fus and/or ubiquitin. Genetic and environmental factors responsible for protein misfolding and formation of these aggregates vary between disorders. Age remains a universal risk factor and age-associated decline in proteostasis, enables disease-linked proteins to adopt aberrant tertiary structures that accumulate as higher-ordered aggregates, and cause a myriad of cellular dysfunctions and neuronal death. In addition, neuroinflammation and vascular factors play an essential central role in the build-up of protein aggregates and neurodegeneration in the brain. The future resolution of molecular pathogenesis and subsequent diagnostics and therapeutics will depend on systematic analysis of human brain tissue. 
The aims of our research program are

  1. Improve diagnostics and classification of neurodegenerative diseases
  2. Unravel mechanisms of neurodegeneration with emphasis on proteostasis and neuroinflammation
  3. Translate neuropathology: identification of drug targets and biomarkers


Annemieke Rozemuller MD PhD  - program leader    
Saskia M. van der Vies PhD
 - program leader  
Jeroen Hoozemans PhD
  - postdoc
Anna Carrano
  MSc  - PhD student
Ienas Idriss
  MSc  - PhD student