With increasing age, the risk of neurodegenerative diseases grows significantly. In Germany, approximately one million people above the age of 65 are currently suffering from the effects of dementia, and their numbers are inceasing steadily.
Given the demographic change, dementia research is one of the most important medical research areas of the future. In 2008, the Institute of Cognitive Neurology and Dementia Research (IKND) was therefore founded at the Medical School of Magdeburg. Here, among other things, the mechanisms of higher cognitive brain functions, such as memory, motivation, goal-directed behavior, decision making and behavioral control are studied.
The Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg offers ideal conditions for this field of research. No other location in Germany will be better suited to provide the possibility in the near future to investigate cognitive functions of people at different levels. This was a decisive factor for the selection of the University as one of the locations of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), a Germany-wide institution of the Helmholtz Foundation. This research center focuses on dementia and examines the causes and risk factors to generate new therapeutic strategies and improve care. The DZNE collaborates closely with CBBS members of the Medical Faculty of the Otto-von-Guericke University and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology.
In Magdeburg, the DZNE is focused on the study of perspectives of degenerative dementias. Through selective stimulation cognitive performance can be improved and stabilized despite the loss of nerve cells. In a multidisciplinary approach, the mechanisms and therapeutic perspectives of neuromodulation are investigated. A key approach is the parallel observation of humans and animals. The systemic approaches investigate the role of endurance training and deep brain stimulation for memory, the brain's performance and thus the prevention of dementia. Complementary molecular and cell biology projects investigate the formation of new nerve cells and remodeling of synapses in an Alzheimer's disease animal model. Based on these findings a "dementia care concept" for the state of Saxony-Anhalt is developed in a joint initiative of DZNE and state government.
Find out more at www.dzne.de