Brain disorders impose an increasing economical and social burden in the member states of the European Union (EU). For most neurodegenerative diseases and many neuropsychiatric disorders no efficient treatment is available and no cure exists. In the next coming years the number of particularly elderly people suffering from brain disorders will tremendously increase. The complexity of these diseases requires a more integrative view of the multiple interactions between genes and environment, synaptic processes and neuronal circuitry. NPlast will train young neuroscientists in relevant techniques by bringing together expertise from different areas of neuroscience that merge in a highly multidisciplinary research and training program.
The NPlast consortium consists of four partners from the private and eight partners from the public sector and will provide a research training program for fifteen young scientists. The program covers a broad spectrum of disorders and interventions ranging from synaptopathies and trafficking deficiencies to Alzheimer’s disease, and from altering gene expression programs to manipulations of the extracellular matrix of the brain to preserve or restore synaptic function. The key objective of the NPlast training network is to investigate neuroplastic principles that can preserve or restore function and that can be used to ‚rejuvenitate’ the brain in the elderly as well as to treat neuropsychiatric conditions in adults.