Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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6 million euros to uncover link between metabolic and brain disorders

Date of news: 23 January 2020

Barbara FrankeJan Buitelaar and Janita Bralten will explore how common molecular mechanisms may link metabolic disorders with brain disorders. Within this European funded project, they will focus on disorders such as diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism.Diabetes suiker

The 5-year long project called ‘PRIME’ (Prevention and Remediation of Insulin Multimorbidity in Europe) aims to unravel how brain disorders throughout life can be traced to alterations in insulin signalling and how this relates to the type 2 diabetes and obesity. In total, 17 different university and private sector groups from 9 different European countries will participate in PRIME, which will receive €6 million funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

Effects on the brain

Insulin-related illnesses present a major health, societal, and economic burden. They are often long-term, chronic diseases. So far, there is hardly any knowledge about brain-based insulin-related illnesses. Medical efforts are mainly devoted to the management of these disorders, with little attention to additional effects on the brain.
The researchers within PRIME hope to develop tools for better diagnosis, improved clinical treatment, and potentially prevention of these type of diseases. They will work with large population data sets to identify and validate new insulin-related illnesses and subsequently use highly interdisciplinary approaches to study insulin communication between body and brain from molecule to cell, brain, cognition, and behaviour. In addition to increased mechanistic understanding, the PRIME project aims to outline new directions for research and clinical care.