JARA-BRAIN: Investigating Psychological and Neurological Diseases
Is it possible to reliably diagnose Alzheimer's dementia at an earlier stage than currently feasible with the aid of magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) or other imaging techniques?
Are there changes in the genotype of patients suffering from schizophrenia which could enable us to predict the individual course of the disease? Scientists from JARA-BRAIN are successfully finding answers to these questions. They are developing new strategies for diagnosing, treating and preventing psychological and neurological diseases.
JARA-BRAIN combines the strengths of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine at Forschungszentrum Jülich - the development and application of state-of-the-art devices and interdisciplinary research competence - with the expertise of Aachen University Hospital, which is one of the leading and largest European university hospitals in the fields of psychiatry, neurology and neuropsychology. This cooperation means that basic findings in brain research can be rapidly tested and transferred to routine clinical work. Furthermore, JARA-BRAIN scientists can transfer their findings on the prevention of disease to practical applications faster.
In particular, JARA-BRAIN researchers from 25 hospitals and institutes of RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich are working on developmental disorders of children and adolescents as typical juvenile illnesses, as well as schizophrenia as a disease of middle age. They are also focusing on neurodegenerative diseases which mainly affect elderly patients such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia. Due to demographic developments and the related changes in the age pyramid, more and more people will suffer from such diseases in future with disastrous consequences for health care and the social system.