Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs), such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and other similar disorders, are caused by the gradual degeneration and death of nerve cells. NDDs are largely debilitating and remain incurable. The number of people suffering from these diseases is rising steadily, with 900,000 people suffering from Alzheimer's alone in France and 35.6 million worldwide, including 225,000 and 7.7 million new cases reported each year respectively. In an effort to address this major public-health issue, various national plans have been launched to coordinate research, care and support for patients and, on the research side, to help prevent the onset of NDDs and slow their progression through better understanding.
What advances have been made in terms of diagnosing these diseases, understanding their progression and developing potential treatments? In the wake of the 2014-2019 Neurodegenerative Diseases Plan (PMND), ANR reviewed its funding for NDD-focused research projects and took stock of their impact so as to gain insights that could inform future government policy.
In line with national plans, ANR supported 278 NDD-focused projects – spanning basic and applied research and technology transfer – between 2010 and 2018, amounting to a total funding of €110 million. These projects, which involved 630 research teams, were selected through thematic and non-thematic calls, generic calls for proposals (AAPG), and specific and international calls (ERA-Net, JPND, etc.). This support contributed to the development of new knowledge and the establishment of new consortia, promoting interdisciplinary approaches and closer ties between basic, clinical and industrial research.
Drawing on this body of projects, ANR’s report no. 13 outlines:
NDD-focused research projects funded by ANR between 2010 and 2018 will also be reviewed in a webinar entitled “Major advances in research into Neurodegenerative Diseases”, which will take place on 8 December 2020 and will be hosted by ANR and ITMO Neurosciences, Sciences Cognitives, Neurologie, Psychiatrie.
Le bilan des projets de recherche sur les MND financés par l’ANR entre 2010 et 2018 sera également présenté lors du webinaire « Les Avancées majeures dans la recherche sur les Maladies Neurodégénératives » organisé le 8 décembre 2020 par l’ANR et l'ITMO neurosciences, sciences cognitives, neurologie et psychiatrie.