National plan for the study of neurodegenerative diseases: 7 accredited regional centres

Research Published July 23 2015

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In the framework of the new national Plan for the study of neurogenerative diseases (2014-2019), seven regional centres of excellence in the field of neurodegenerative diseases were selected from among the 12 projects submitted.

These centres share their competencies in order to permit a better diagnosis and improve the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The centres must also accelerate the transfer of knowledge and technologies with the help of local and regional business incubators and clinical and therapeutic investigation centres for clinical trials. They will be implicated in teaching and should attract students from other disciplines towards research, in order to favour a pluridisciplinary approach. These centres will be identified as the French Centres of Excellence within a European-Canadian network.

The site of the Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris was selected to lead translational research on neurodegenerative diseases and become one of the accredited centres. The centre regroups on the same site forces of excellence in the fields of basic and clinical research, technology transfer and the organization of care, extended by its connections with the UPMC (the most renowned French university) and Sorbonne-University, associating teams in the Neurosciences and the Social and Human Sciences around the neurodegenerative diseases.

The Pitié-Salpêtrière Site, an accredited “Regional Centre of Excellence,” consists of:

  • the “Nervous System Diseases Pole ” of the Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital: 300 physicians, 14 clinical research teams of the “Neurology Pole”, including the Regional Centres of Expertise for Parkinson disease (3000 patients per year, which is also the first centre for deep brain stimulation) and Alzheimer disease (IM2A – Institute of Memory and Alzheimer disease (5000 patients), a Unit dedicated to the follow-up of patients with multiple sclerosis (3100 patients), a Department of Neuropathology, a Department of Psychiatry, the Tumour Bank Onconeurotek… six National Reference Centres for ‘rare diseases’ accredited by the Ministry of Health. The most important active file in the country of patients with neurodegenerative diseases and numerous applications for care;
  • the Brain and Spine Institute (ICM): 25 research teams (650 INSERM, CNRS, UPMC, ICM researchers) accredited by Aeres, 19 of which are implicated in research on the neurodegenerative diseases: multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, lateral amyotrophic sclerosis, movement disorders, rare neurodegenerative diseases, and transversal research aimed at studying cognition, behaviour and psychiatric diseases. The aim of bringing together physicians and researchers in the same place is to permit the rapid development of treatments for lesions of the nervous system and to offer them as soon as possible to patients. Seventeen innovative technological platforms including a Neuroimagery Centre dedicated to research (MEG, EEG, MRI), a Centre for Bioinformatics and Biostatistics to integrate multimodal data, a Biological Resource Centre (DNA and Cell Bank, a Tumour Bank…), a Clinical Investigations Cntre and a business incubator;
  • the Paris Institute of Translational Neuroscience (IHU-A-ICM) the mission of which is to carry out research projects of excellence in care, teaching and technology transfer in the field of nervous system diseases. The IHU-A-ICM is highly implicated in the organization of care networks for the neurodegenerative diseases and in the socio-economic aspects of these diseases through its connections with research teams in the Human and Social Sciences at the Sorbonne-University and the Regional Health Agency (ARS) Ile-de-France.

Pr. Bruno Dubois leads the project. He is a university professor and hospital practitioner (UP-HP) in Neurology at the Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital – Paris IV University, Director of the Institute of Memory and Alzheimer Disease of the Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital – Paris (IM2A) and ICM team leader.