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CRG and Fundació ACE join together in research into Alzheimer's and neurodegenerative diseases


Dj, 17/05/2012 - 16:49

CRG and Fundació ACE join together in research into Alzheimer's and neurodegenerative diseases



  • The CRG will study genetic basis as a possible cause of the development of neurodegenerative diseases and the ACE Foundation will contribute its expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the ACE Foundation - Barcelona Alzheimer Treatment & Research Centre, have signed a collaboration agreement to carry out scientific projects related to neurodegenerative diseases. The experience of both research centres will serve to deepen the knowledge of these diseases in various aspects.
The agreement, which will initially last for two years, aims to encourage collaboration between these two research centres. Specifically, scientific collaboration is expected in the area of genomics as well as functional studies of cases of neurodegenerative diseases.
If we study neurodegenerative diseases from a genomic perspective we will probably discover fundamental explanations about the causes”, explains Xavier Estivill, coordinator of the CRG Genes and Disease programme and member of the follow-up commission for projects with the ACE Foundation. “As we age later in life than we did previously, neurodegenerative diseases are becoming more common. Understanding the biological basis of these ailments will help us to delay their appearance, improve diagnosis, and develop new treatments”, adds Estivill.
Dr. Mercè Boada, medical director of the ACE Foundation comments: “The start of this collaboration with the CRG represents a huge step forward for our institution and strengthens the basic research of the ACE Foundation. The agreement will allow us to intensify our research on the genetic causes of dementia and complements the collaborations that have been initiated with the international metaconsortia CHARGE and IGAP.”
Apart from the research projects, it is expected that under the agreement scientific events and communication activities will be organised in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. Two events are already in the pipeline: the first is a scientific café (informal debate) open to everyone, on ageing and brain plasticity. The event, entitled “Blueberries, brain training and raisin stalks” will be held at 7pm on May 22 at the “La Casa Elizalde” civic centre in Barcelona with the participation of Dr. Xavier Estivill from the CRG. and Dr. Mercè Boada of the ACE Foundation, Vall d'Hebron Hospital and Vall D'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR).
On a scientific level, from May 23-25 the VIII Barcelona/Pittsburgh Biennial Conference “Dementia today” will be held, organised by the ACE Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh, and in which Dr. Xavier Estivill from the CRG will speak.
About the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG)
The CRG is an international institute for biomedical research excellence, created in December 2000. It is a non-profit foundation, and involves the participation of the Catalan Government, through the Department of Economics and Knowledge and the Department of Health, the Pompeu Fabra University, and the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Its mission is to discover and advance knowledge for the benefit of society, public health and economic prosperity.
The CRG believes that the medicine of the future depends on innovative science today. This requires an interdisciplinary team focused on understanding the complexity of life, the genome in the cell, up to a whole organism and its interaction with the environment, providing an integrated view of genetic diseases.
The CRG’s principal objectives are to become a leading centre in the field of biomedical sciences at a global level, to communicate and establish a bilateral dialogue with society, to provide advanced training to the next generation of scientists and to transform new knowledge into benefit and value for society and the economy of the country.
The combination of the knowhow of top scientists from around the world and the availability of cutting-edge equipment, make the CRG a unique centre with a high level of scientific production in an international context and the best scientific and technical services for research.

About the ACE Foundation
The ACE Foundation - Barcelona Alzheimer Treatment & Research Centre was born in 1996, thanks to neurologist Mercè Boada and clinical psychologist Lluís Tárraga. It is a pioneering and innovative centre, a reference in Spain for the diagnosis, research and treatment of Alzheimer's, cognitive deterioration and dementia. The work in its Diagnosis Unit is multidisciplinary and from all possible fields (medicine, education and social) with the aim of improving health, establishing new models of methodology and restoring normality to the daily life of patients.
As summarised by Dr. Boada, the objective of the Foundation is “the creation of scientific, educational and emotional wealth”.
In the 16 years of the Diagnostic Unit of the ACE Foundation 14,648 diagnoses have been made which form the basis of its clinical database:

  • 8,063 diagnoses of dementia. 6,014 of Alzheimer’s.
  • 4,567 of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) without dementia.
  • 2,018 without cognitive deterioration.

In addition, the ACE Foundation prioritises research and education as essential instruments for the creation of common work environments between social health professionals addressing this set of diseases together. The research activity consists of several lines of pharmacological, clinical and epidemiological investigation, economic studies and analysis of resources and services.
In the same way, the Foundation undertakes research to improve the tools for early diagnosis (genetics, functional imaging markers and biomarkers), as well as collaborating to implement existing treatments.
It also has the widest-reaching and most complete collection of genetic samples in the world for the study of the treatments used in disorders associated with Alzheimer's (a total of 6,040 samples).
Event information

For furhter information and interviews, please contact:

    • Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) – Press Office
      Laia Cendrós
      Tel: 93 316 02 37
    • ACE Foundation – Barcelona Alzheimer Treatment and Research Centre
      Mariona de Torres
      Tel: 93 444 73 18