Presentation Day on the Actions of the National Precision Medicine Network for Neurodegenerative Diseases
An online Presentation Day on the Actions of the National Precision Medicine Network for Neurodegenerative Diseases was successfully held on Monday, January 24, 2022.
The Network started its operation in 2020. It is an emblematic initiative of the Ministry of Development and Investments, under the supervision of the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation, which was initially funded with € 2.2 million. The Network is coordinated by the President of FORTH and Professor of the Medical School of the University of Crete, Nektarios Tavernarakis, and co-coordinated by Leonidas Stefanis, Professor of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
During the Conference, the Secretary General of Research and Innovation, Professor Athanasios Kyriazis, made an opening statement and welcomed the participants.
A presentation followed on the Actions implemented by the Bodies participating in the Network, that are associated with the following specific aims:
- Creation of a National Registry of Neurodegenerative Diseases,
- Creation of a Neurodegenerative Disease BioBank,
- Biochemical and Molecular/Genetic Analysis of patient-derived biological specimens,
- Free genetic tests for the purpose of early-preclinical diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases,
- Evolution of bioinformatics,
- Development of novel cellular and animal Neurodegenerative Disease models, as well as, identification of new neurodegeneration and ageing biomarkers,
- Effective management of research results, on the basis of promoting Precision Medicine, and the exploitation of research results for the benefit of Public health.
The Conference was attended by Representatives of all Institutions participating in the Network, as well as representatives of leading research and academic institutions in Greece. In the first stage of development of this initiative, the participating Institutions are the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Hellenic Pasteur Institute, the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, the Biomedical Sciences Research Center “Alexander Fleming”, the University of Patras, the University of Crete and the University of Thessaly. In one of the next phases, there is a plan to expand the Network in order to include additional Research Institutions, Universities and Hospital Clinics, with activities relevant to Neurodegenerative Pathologies.
The actions presented during the Conference highlighted the need for further development of the Network, considering:
- With the ever increasing demographic ageing of the population in Greece, neurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and other forms of dementia) afflict tens of thousands of individuals, and are estimated to triple in the coming decades.
- The National Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network decisively contributes to combatting the phenomenon of the increase of neurodegenerative diseases, which tends to take on epidemic proportions, through exploitation of the research and know-how produced.
- Through this Network, Greece becomes an important player in shaping the medical map of the future, for the benefit of Public Health.
- The know-how and infrastructure created within the Network are innovative and valuable for both the Greek and global research community.
- Early diagnosis and individualization of treatment implies a more effective overall treatment of the disease and fewer side effects, thus improving the quality of the patient’s life.
- The Network opens new possibilities for the National Health System towards rational planning of the patient’s treatment, leading to economies of scale, by reducing unnecessary expenses and saving resources.
In the near future the Network is planning to organize an open event to present its actions to the general public.