Monthly Archives: april 2013

Delta Plan to follow closely the JPND strategic research agenda and will strengthen the international position of the Netherlands for both research and industry

The Netherlands Dementia Delta Plan was launched today by the Minister for Health, Welfare and Sport Edith Schippers and Secretary of State Martin van Rijn (VWS).

The Deltaplan will invest 32.5 million euros over the next four years for scientific research into dementia. The plan aims to improve the care for the patients of today and tomorrow, and should fuel the quest for solutions to prevent or postpone the disease.

The Dementia Delta Plan is built on three pillars:

  1. the development of an e-health portal
  2. the establishment of a national dementia registry
  3. the investment and implementation of new programmes for scientific research

The Delta Plan shapes the policy of the Netherlands Government to keep the care for the elderly sustainable ánd affordable. The Delta Plan will also follow closely the JPND strategic research agenda and will strengthen the international position of Netherlands for both research and industry.

The Delta Plan will be implemented by a public/private partnership including;

  • Public: Government, VUmc Alzheimer Center, Alzheimer Netherlands and ZonMw
  • Private: Achmea, CZ, Nefarma, NFU, Nutricia, Philips, PGGM Rabobank, VitaValley, and VNO-NCW

"Dementia is not a problem of the government alone, but involves everyone" said Minister Schippers. ‘The strength of this plan is that there are so many parties to get involved and connect international research. The joint efforts of government, science and industry makes the Delta Plan so special’.

State Secretary Van Rijn: "As long as it is not possible to cure dementia, we must make the disease as bearable as possible for the patient, family and caregiver. Addition to basic research into the causes and symptoms, we can improve the care’.

The ministers sent the Delta Plan for Dementia to the House of Representatives on April 4th, 2013.

The press release and full plan (both in Dutch) are available at the links below.

(information supplied by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport / JPND Management Board members from The Netherlands) 

Prof. Philippe Amouyel, Chair of the JPND Management Board, outlines JPND progress in the latest edition of the Science and Technology magazine

To access the article, clickhere.

Clickhere to find out more on Pan-European Networks: Science and Technology.

To access other press articles on JPND, click on the link below.

New study from the USA aimed at modeling the course of Parkinson’s disease (PD) which describes the economic consequences of slower rates of progression

Multiple studies describe progression, dementia rates, direct and indirect costs, and health utility by Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) stage, but research has not incorporated these data into a model to evaluate possible economic consequences of slowing progression.

A Markov model was developed by the authors to show the net monetary benefits of slower rates of progression. Four scenarios assuming hypothetical slower rates of progression were compared to a base case scenario.

Base case results indicate average excess direct costs of $303,754, life-years of 12.8 years and quality-adjusted life-years of 6.96. A scenario where PD progressed 20% slower than the base case resulted in net monetary benefits of $60,657 ($75,891 including lost income) per patient. The net monetary benefit comes from a $37,927 decrease in direct medical costs, 0.45 increase in quality-adjusted life-years, and $15,235 decrease in lost income.

The scenario where PD progression was arrested resulted in net monetary benefits of $442,429 per patient. Reducing progression rates could produce significant economic benefit. This benefit is strongly dependent on the degree to which progression is slowed.

Study details how brain enzyme interacts with drug-like lead compound for Huntington’s Disease

Researchers at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology have detailed how an enzyme in the brain interacts with an exciting drug-like lead compound for Huntington’s Disease to inhibit its activity. The research is published in the journal Nature.

Working with colleagues at the University of Leicester and the University of Lisbon in Portugal, the researchers identified the molecular structure of the enzyme kynurenine 3-monooxygense (KMO), which is found in the human brain. It took five years for the team to establish the crystal structure of KMO – the first time it’s ever been done.

The scientists then studied how the compound UPF 648 binds incredibly tightly to the enzyme to act as an inhibitor. Previous studies with animal models of neurodegenerative disease have showed that switching off the enzyme activity through drug binding should be effective in the treatment of brain disorders.

Professor Nigel Scrutton who led the study said: "UPF 648 works very well as an inhibitor of enzyme activity. However, in its current form it does not pass into the brain from the blood. The search is now on for related compounds that can both inhibit the enzyme and pass into the brain."

The findings from this research will now be used in the search for more effective treatments for Huntington’s Disease.

More information available at the links below: