Mission: to study the brain and its disease mechanisms through an integrative approach running from molecule to bedside.
Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam (NCA) studies mechanisms involved in neuropsychiatric disorders, dementia and white matter diseases, through an integrative approaches running from molecule to bedside.
NCA aims at delivering proof-of-concept for radically new approaches in the field of detecting brain function and the early diagnosis of brain disease.
Brain disease mechanisms
NCA brings together researchers that focus on the elucidation of the mechanisms that underlie brain functions and dysfunctions. Examples are: how signal transduction
networks orchestrate cellular functions, how mutations in the components of such networks lead to disease, how neuronal networks orchestrate behavior and how dysregulation of their activity leads to aberrant behavior.
'In all humility, I think at Neuroscience Campus we are working on a paradigm-shift in MS research.' As Professor of Translational Neuroscience Research, Jeroen Geurts heads a group of scientists who are exploring the very fundamentals of multiple sclerosis. 'MS is still considered to be an auto-immune disease.'
Not an immune deficiency
'We have found, however, a number of changes in brain cells that precede the involvement of the immune system. For example, at an early stage of the disease, the myelin sheath around nerve cells seems to change. This could mean that the immune system, rather than being intrinsically deficient in some way, might instead be reacting to very subtle pathological changes in the brain.'
New therapeutic approach
According to Prof. Geurts, these exciting findings will have no immediate impact on the treatment of patients. 'Not yet! For the time being, we will have to continue suppressing MS patients' immune systems. However, in the long run, this approach may "just" be used to relieve symptoms. Through the joint efforts of the various groups on the Neuroscience Campus, we hope to find a more fundamental therapeutic approach that tackles the true cause of MS.'