Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Methuselah’s Descendants – What Keeps Us Healthy in Old Age?

06.12.2011
The New Director of Population Health Sciences at the DZNE Investigates

Our life expectancy has increased considerably in recent centuries. However, which factors play a role in giving us longer mental and physical health? Professor Monique Breteler, new Director of Population Health Sciences at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), will undertake a large-scale study to answer this very question. Besides her affiliation with DZNE, Breteler is a professor of population health sciences at the University of Bonn.

“We are proud that Professor Breteler, one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of population studies, has joined the institute,” says Professor Pierluigi Nicotera, scientific director and chairman of the executive board of DZNE.

“We want to help people stay healthy. Our study aims to identify the determinants of good health,” explains Breteler. For this purpose, Breteler’s team will accompany both young people and seniors over an extended period in order to determine the differences in lifestyle, physical fitness or genetic predisposition that lead some people to keep their health and others to lose it. Although many diseases manifest only in old age, causes can be traced back to a much earlier phase of life. Especially in the case of neurodegenerative diseases, first alterations in the brain seem to occur much earlier than previously thought, long before symptoms appear.

“Our main objective is to investigate the causes of disease at a very early stage. This is the only way to prevent disease,” says Breteler. “We also hope to find ways to delay or prevent disease onset and to improve early diagnosis so that treatment can be initiated as early as possible. We still have no cure for neurodegenerative diseases.”

The study’s approach is unique. Professor Breteler focuses on prevention and early diagnosis of diseases in much earlier stages of life than previously studied. It is taking advantage of the newest methods and highly advanced technologies such as 3- and 7-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging, which is being used to a much greater extent than in previous studies. Also impressive is the study’s sheer scope. “We are depending on the support of about 30,000 volunteers aged 30 to 80 from the Rhineland, making a major contribution to an important societal challenge”, Monique Breteler explains.

In the scientific community Breteler is especially well known for her achievements in the Rotterdam Study, where she found a correlation between vascular diseases and neurological disorders of the brain. Since 1990, more than 15,000 volunteers have contributed to this result. “This finding has greatly influenced basic and clinical research,” notes Breteler. “It is particularly important to me that these areas of research, as well as population studies, all take place at DZNE under one roof, thus providing an ideal work environment.”

Monique Breteler studied both medicine and epidemiology. She received her MD in 1987 from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands and her Ph.D. in epidemiology in 1993 from the University Rotterdam. In 1995 she became head of Neuroepidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology at Erasmus Medical Center at the University of Rotterdam, and since 2002 she also holds an adjunct professorship at Harvard School of Public Health.

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Monique Breteler
Director for Population Health Sciences
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Holbeinstr. 13-15
53175 Bonn
Tel: +49 (0) 228/43302-281
Email: monique.breteler(at)dzne.de
Sonja Jülich-Abbas
Spokesperson
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Holbeinstr. 13-15
53175 Bonn
Tel: +49 (0) 228/43302-260
Email: sonja.juelich-abbas(at)dzne.de

Daniel Bayer | idw
Further information:
http://www.dzne.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biophysicists reveal how optogenetic tool works
29.05.2020 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

nachricht Mapping immune cells in brain tumors
29.05.2020 | University of Zurich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Black nitrogen: Bayreuth researchers discover new high-pressure material and solve a puzzle of the periodic table

29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles

29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Smart windows that self-illuminate on rainy days

29.05.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>