Neuronet - Efficiently Networking European Neurodegeneration Research

Newsletter 8 - September 21, 2021

Welcome to the eighth
issue of the Neuronet newsletter! 

We hope this newsletter finds you well. This eighth newsletter issue provides you with up-to-date insights on the Innovative Medicines Initiative’s (IMI) research efforts to tackle challenges in neurodegeneration.

The summer break is over and we’re looking back at nine fruitful months of research and collaboration, while the months ahead of us will certainly come with some pleasant surprises along with expected outcomes. As part of that,  we’re looking forward to welcoming you to four Neuronet sessions at the upcoming virtual Alzheimer Europe Conference on 29 November to 2 December. Speaking about events, we also enjoyed to join IMI's impact on dementia event. Make sure to have a look at the end of this newsletter where we're providing a link to the recordings.

Furthermore, we're excited to announce that the IMI neurodegeneration programme has grown further, with PRISM2 joining our community. The goal of the PRISM 2 project is to build on the achievements of the original PRISM project. Specifically, it aims to validate PRISM’s findings on social withdrawal in schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, and investigate whether they also apply to major depressive disorder.

Apart from providing you with project updates, we also interviewed Pranav Joshi from the PHAGO consortium as part of our spotlight on early-career researchers. He is first author of a recently published and interesting paper. For the first time, they show that the microglial receptor, TREM2, is involved in the differential interaction and uptake of post-translationally modified Aβ species.

This issue also includes links to the most recent project newsletters, so that you can dive in deeper into their latest updates.

Happy reading and enjoy!

Carlos Díaz
Neuronet Project Coordinator
Research Management Partners
Lennert Steukers
Neuronet Project Leader
Associate Director,
Clinical Scientist, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV



Spotlight on early-career researchers: a Neuronet interview with Pranav Joshi

In this Neuronet interview, we speak with Pranav Joshi. Pranav works on the public-private PHAGO project under the guidance of Prof. Dr Jochen Walter at the Department of Neurology, Universitätsklinikum, Bonn. We asked Pranav about his career, research as well as about challenges & opportunities in his field.
Read more



Neuronet launches the NEURO Cohort: An initiative by sites for participants

As part of Neuronet’s efforts to efficiently connect European research on neurodegeneration, Neuronet initiated the NEURO Cohort. It intends to build a European parent cohort that continuously follows up patients across Europe, to serve as basis to faciitate specific research projects and studies.
Read more

Neuronet Working Groups emphasise the importance of effective collaboration to overcome obstacles linked to patient privacy and data sharing

Each Neuronet Working Group is focused on a particular area of concern for IMI neurodegeneration projects: data sharing, ethics & patient privacy, sustainability and regulatory/HTA interactions. In June, Neuronet convened online meetings of its Working Groups on data sharing and ethics & patient privacy.
Read more

A stem cell-based model offers new insights into the mechanisms of neuronal loss in Parkinson’s disease

Project Coordinator of the Innovative Medicines Initiative’s IMPRiND project Dr Tofaris and his team at UOXF in collaboration with Ronald Melki (CNRS) have now come up with a working laboratory model. They used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) derived from both healthy subjects and patients with the alpha-synuclein gene defects to generate human dopaminergic neurons that are primarily affected in Parkinson’s disease.
Read more

Start of the RADAR-AD tier 2 study – technologies installed in participants’ homes

The RADAR-AD sub-study (tier 2) is a multicentre, observational digital assessment study among participants with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) due to AD and mild-to-moderate AD.
Read more

Data Standards in IDEA-FAST

One of the main goals of the IDEA-FAST project is to identify novel digital measures for fatigue and sleep disturbances. To achieve this goal, a large amount of data, including clinical data (e.g., demographic data of the recruited patients) and device data (e.g., data collected by sensors and wearable devices for monitoring fatigue, sleep and selected activities of daily living), is needed for analysis. Given the scale of the data involved in IDEA-FAST, adoption of data standards brings a few obvious benefits.
Read more

PRISM2 project joins the Neuronet community

Currently, neurological disorders are diagnosed primarily on the basis of patients’ symptoms, and not on the causes of the disease. Furthermore, many symptoms appear in a number of diseases. Yet, we don’t always know if the causes of a given symptom are the same across diseases or not. Pinpointing the underlying causes of symptoms and diseases is essential if we are to develop targeted treatments for these complex conditions.
Read more

First RADAR-CNS paper on acceptability of speech recording presented at major speech conference

The peer-reviewed study showed that RADAR-CNS participants were more comfortable completing a task that involved reading a script than a task that involved free speech and that individuals with more severe depression felt less comfortable recording their speech.
Read more

PD-MitoQUANT welcomes Dr Isabela Aparicio (RCSI)

PD-MitoQUANT welcomes Dr Isabela Aparicio, and her expertise! Based at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland- University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dr Aparicio is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she obtained a degree in Genetics and later was awarded an M.Sc. in Biophysics.
Read more

EPAD-AMYPAD brain imaging workshop

EPAD and AMYPAD organised a virtual imaging workshop. The workshop aimed at engaging researchers across the scientific community in the ongoing analyses currently performed in these two large European consortia.
Read more

EMA Public Support for Mobilise-D: Follow-up

In the first year of Mobilise-D, the project asked the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Qualification Advice regarding Digital Mobility Outcomes. EMA published their first letter of support in April 2020 that publicly endorsed their initial stage in the wider objective of the Mobilise-D consortium to pursue the qualification of Digital Mobility Outcomes as monitoring biomarkers of mobility performance in regulatory drug trials.
Read more



Neuronet sessions at the Alzheimer Europe Conference

Neuronet is organising a series of four parallel sessions showcasing the Innovative Medicines Initiative's neurodegeneration programme at the upcoming Alzheimer Europe Conference.
Conference programme

The Innovative Medicines Initiative’s impact on dementia – presentations online!

Dementia projects account for ~10% of IMI’s budget, but what are these projects delivering and what is their impact?
Find out by watching the recordings, including a presentation by our Project Coordinator Carlos Diaz, as part of the session on how IMI projects have addressed the challenge & ‘moved the needle’.
Read more

Neuronet project newsletters

Connecting digital mobility assessment to clinical outcomes for regulatory and clinical endorsement
September 2021 (Mobilise-D)
Mobilise-D accelerates breakthrough innovations in digital health monitoring to assess patients' daily life mobility, focusing on different conditions that often affect mobility (COPD, PD, MS, hip fracture), with the goal to improve follow-up and personalized care of patients.
Amyloid imaging to prevent Alzheimer's disease Newsletter
August 2021 (AMYPAD)
With the project fully established project extension to September 2022, AMYPAD continues to work on curating the data and diaries (over 2,500 collected) from the Diagnostic study as well as over 1,000 prospective scans collected in our Prognostic Study.
A quantitative approach towards the characterisation of mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson's disease
August 2021 (PD-MitoQUANT)
Well into year 3 of PD-MitoQUANT, the models, protocols and assays developed by the consortium have been used to generate an impressive collection of datasets from both cultured cells and pre-clinical models.
Remote Assessment of Disease and Relapse in Central Nervous System Disorders
July 2021 (RADAR-CNS)
This newsletter features interesting interviews with six of our researchers from across the different work packages, providing a great opportunity to find out more about the work of our colleagues, their interests and how they have adapted to work and life during the pandemic and more.


This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 821513. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA and Parkinson’s UK.

Any related content solely reflects the author's view and neither IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

          Newsletter 8 - September 21, 2021

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