News, Press Releases and Articles
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The INVESTIGATE-SVDs study is one of our three multicentre clinical studies, which Edinburgh (UEDIN), Maastricht (UM) and Munich (LMU) conducted. The study asses the relationships of Blood-Brain-Barrier (BBB) integrity, cerebrovascular reactivity MRI, pulsatility and Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow (CSF) in sporadic SVD and CADASIL patient. The study aims to establish associations between these measures of vascular function, risk factors like blood pressure and its variability (regular measurements over seven days), and brain parenchymal lesions. In total 75 patient have been recruited – 45 sporadic SVDs and 30 CADASIL patients. As the first clinical study that completed recruitment within this project, it also succeeded the feasibility of complex multisite MRI.
Now the study protocol was published and it underlines the good collaboration between the clinical sites and the great effort of all team members to make this study a success. Congrats to the entire team.
If you want to read more information about the INVESTIGATE-SVDs study, please click here.
With the inclusion of the last patient in the ZOOM@SVDs clinical study, the SVDs@target project can account another great achievement and a big step forward. The team around Prof. Gert Jan Biessels and PhD-candidate Hilde van den Brink can now start to analyse the enormous amount of data, which they collected from 103 sporadic Small Vessel Disease patients and controls. The baseline assessments will also be compared to a cohort of CADASIL patients and controls, which were recruited from project partner LMU. We are very excited about the insight this new data will give and we want to thank everybody involved in the ZOOM@SVDs study for their continous effort and great work but our very special "Thanks" goes to all patients for their trust in this clinical study.
The ZOOM@SVDs study is one of our three multicentre clinical studies, conducted by Utrecht (UMCU) and Munich (LMU). It is a observational cohort study with two years follow-up and aims to establish measures of cerebral small vessel dysfunction on 7T MRI as novel disease markers of SVD. ZOOM@SVDs recruited 20 CADASIL patients, 60 sporadic patients and respective controls. The participants undergo 7T brain MRI to assess different aspects of small vessel function including small vessel reactivity, cerebral perforating artery flow, and pulsatility, further it includes clinical and neuropsychological assessment as well as 3T brain MRI to assess conventional SVD imaging markers.
The study protocol was now published and will help the scientific community to plan and conduct future trials on SVDs. In addition, the successful ZOOM@SVDs study shows the good collaboration between Utrecht and Munich. Congrats to this achievement to both teams.
If you want to read more information about the ZOOM@SVDs study, please click here.
SVDs@target partner SAFE (Stroke Alliance for Europe) prepared a very special campaign for the European Stroke Awareness Day on 11th March 2021. Three SVDs@target trial participants in the UK were interviews with the aim of gathering the patient perspective of participation in a clinical trial especially during a pandemic. SAFE asked them about their motivations of participation, the benefits and whether they would encourage others to get involved in clinical trial .Such interviews and its dissemination are very important to bring researchers and patients closer together, it helps patients to raise their voice, reduces fears and is encouraging for other patients to participate in such clinical trials.
Thank you SAFE for your very important work in our SVDs@target project and for all SVDs affected patients and their families.
If you want to read the full interviews please follow this link.
For the 5th General Assembly we planned a meeting in Utrecht. Unfortunately, a pandemic got in the way and we had to cancel the physical meeting and instead we organized a virtual one. Nevertheless, it was nice seeing each other again and discussing intensively about Small Vessel Diseases.
Please read the full article here
To the question "Why do you do it" Michael Stringer from UEDIN answered "My research focuses on applying advanced imaging and mathematical methods to study disease. I enjoy applying these tools to study real world problems, and as a highly multidisciplinary area it provides a lot of variety – it is seldom dull."
Please read the full "Meet the SVDs@traget Investigator" interview with Michael Stringer here
"SVDs@target project will give us more insight in the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of cSVD. The acquired knowledge will hopefully make the next step possible were we can investigate more specific treatments that can reduce progression of the disease. Further this new knowledge can also provide us new chances for earlier detection of the disease." says Danielle Kerkhofs, researcher at University of Maastricht and member of the SVDs@target consortium.
Please read the full interview here.
Congratulation from the whole SVDs@target-Team to this great achievement, Maiken!
If you want to know more about our studies and how patients can participate, please visit our "For Patients"-Section (NL, EN, D) or get in contact with us via the Contact Sheet.
At the 156th annual Meeting of the National Academy of Science, Mark T. Nelson from the University of Vermont, USA was elected as member in the National Academy of Science.
To become a member in the National Academy of Science you have to be nominated followed by an extensive and careful vetting process.
Marks continuous eminent research over the last decades in the field of Neuroscience granded him access to this honor. Congratulations Mark, on this great achievement!
As every study site is reliant on participants, this is a very nice way to keep the participants informed. In this way, they directly can see how their effort and committment helped to improve treatments, therapies or diagnostics.
For more information about the Clinical studies in the SVDs@target project, please visit our "For Patient"-section.
In spring this year, Prof. Anne Joutel received the highly renowned Brain Price.
Since 2010, the Lundbeck Foundation annually awards the largest and most respected prize in Neuroscience to one or more brain researchers who have had ground-breaking impact on brain research.
In 2019 four french researchers were awarded - amongst Anne Joutel, who works at INSERM in Paris and leads the preclinical part of WP3 "Microvascular matrisome and vascular integrity in SVDs". Anne and the other awardees were awarded for their work in elucidating the hereditary of Small Vessel Disease.
For the full press release please visit The Brain Prize webpage.
In November 2018 the Zoom@SVDs study included the 60th participant, thereby reaching its milestone for midterm recruitment. The Zoom@SVDs study is an observational study that aims to advance our understanding of Small Vessel Disease, a condition in which the small blood vessels in the brain are damaged. We do this by zooming in on the small vessels with one of the strongest MRI scanners currently available for humans, located in the UMC Utrecht.
This study builds on a collaboration between the LMU in Munich (Germany) and the UMC Utrecht (Netherlands). In order to undergo a scan in the strong MRI in Utrecht, the 28 participants that were recruited so far in Munich travelled from all over Germany to Utrecht for an additional visit. Of course, the logistics of this study are very challenging, because flight tickets, train tickets and hotels have to be arranged as well. Also, all study information needed to be officially translated from Dutch to German and the researchers in Utrecht had to refresh their German language skills. However, these joined efforts have resulted in fast recruitment with happy participants and high-quality data.
Analyses of the first patient data have just started, of which we aim to publish the first results in the coming year. Of course, we will continue our recruitment and will continue to work in close collaboration. This study builds on our dedicated participants and good teamwork; thanks to all involved!
"Small Vessels, Dementia and Chronic Diseases"
A themed collection about "Small Vessels, Dementia and Chronic Diseases" was published by the Portland Press in the Journal of Clinical Science.
This issue is the outcome of a workshop held in Glasgow 2017 with almost 30 publications including papers from four leading researchers of the SVDs@target consortium, who translate the EU-funding into visible research.
Prof. Anne Joutel from INSERM in Paris, Prof. Maiken Nedergaard from University of Copenhagen and Prof. Geert Jan Biessels from University of Utrecht contributed a paper to the collection, respectively.
Prof. Joanna Wardlaw from University of Edinburgh contributed several papers and had the honour to beginn the collection with the introductory editorial as Guest Editor.
The Stroke Alliance For Europe (SAFE) interviewed Anna Kopczak about Small Vessel Diseases and the work of SVDs@target.
European Commission International collaboration for research in prevention of stroke and dementia launched
An international consortium of mostly European investigators has launched a major collaborative research program to uncover mechanisms and pathways in different forms of small vessel disease.
Stroke and dementia rank among the most pressing health issues in Europe. Cerebral small vessel diseases (SVDs) have emerged as a central link between these two major co-morbidities. SVDs account for more than 30% of strokes and at least 40% of dementia cases. They encounter multiple distinct diseases that can be separated based on their underlying genetic defects, risk factors, and clinical presentations. Despite this profound impact on human health, there are no treatments with proven efficacy against SVDs.
The new network “Small vessel diseases in a mechanistic perspective: Targets for Intervention in Stroke and Dementia (SVDs@target)” is funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and brings together top scientists with a wide range of complementary expertise. The academic institutions involved are the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU, Munich, coordinating site), the University of Oxford and University of Edinburgh (UK), the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), INSERM (France), the University of Utrecht and University of Maastricht (The Netherlands), the University of Muenster and Technische Universitaet Muenchen (Germany), and the University of Vermont (US). The network further partners with the patient organisation Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE, Belgium), and with Arttic, a German company for project management.
SVDs@target partners have already made major progress in identifying key mechanisms underlying multiple SVDs. The new network involves basic scientists and academic clinicians and will make use of novel animal models and expertly phenotyped patient cohorts to identify key mechanisms common to multiple SVDs and determine how these mechanisms contribute to individual SVDs.
A major objective of the 5-year project is to identify common molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms that compromise the function of microvessels in different SVDs. The project will further determine how these common mechanistic defects cause brain damage and explore novel therapeutic approaches in experimental systems and in patients. The project will use state-of-the art technologies to enable the development of novel treatments and contribute to the prevention of stroke and dementia.
“This project comes at the right point in time. We are very excited about the opportunity and synergies that can be expected from this collaboration” says Martin Dichgans from LMU.