The Ageing Brain program of the UMCG focuses on two main pillars, which are studied in connection with each other:
- Neurodegenerative diseases, notably dementia and Alzheimers disease
- The development and consequences of – common – mental disorders throughout life.
The combination of these two research lines matches with the challenges of the European society to tackle neurodegenerative diseases not only now, but even more so in the future; and underscores that there is no healthy ageing without mental health.
This programme employs psychiatrists, psychologists, epidemiologists, internists and neurologists, all working together, and making use of population studies including LifeLines and TRAILS.
The UMCG is one of the four Alzheimer centres in the Netherlands. The strength of research at UMCG into neurodegenerative diseases is that within a single organisation, the entire chain from fundamental through to clinical research works closely together. The Ageing Brain initiative is part of the national programme Mind Power that brings together knowledge and applications in the field of anxiety and mood disorders, psychoses and behaviour disturbances. At a European level, too, forces have been combined; the UMCG is a strong proponent of such combined approaches.