An important European-funded initiative, coordinated by Radboudumc researchers Barbara Franke, Jan Buitelaar, and Janita Bralten, has been launched to explore how common molecular mechanisms may link metabolic disorders, especially type 2 diabetes and obesity, with brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and autism spectrum disorders.
The 5-year long project called ‘PRIME’ (Prevention and Remediation of Insulin Multimorbidity in Europe) aims to unravel how brain disorders throughout life can be traced to alterations in insulin signalling and how this relates to the somatic diseases type 2 diabetes and obesity. In total, 17 different university and private sector groups from 9 different European countries will participate in PRIME, which will receive €6 million funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
Insulin-related illnesses (insulinopathies) present a major health, societal, and economic burden. The known somatic insulinopathies are often long-term, chronic illnesses. So far, there is hardly any knowledge about brain-based insulinopathies. Medical efforts are mainly or only devoted to the management of somatic insulinopathies, with little attention to additional effects of altered insulin signalling on the brain.
PRIME will break new ground in addressing this problem, starting from the hypothesis that altered insulin signalling not only has effects on somatic illnesses but also on neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, especially those linked to cognitive inflexibility. By probing the causal mechanisms linking somatic and brain-based insulin-related illnesses, PRIME’s multidisciplinary team will work to extend our understanding of insulin-related effects across the lifespan. The researchers also hope to develop tools for better diagnosis, improved clinical treatment, and potentially prevention of comorbid insulinopathies. PRIME will work with large population data sets to identify and validate new insulinopathies and subsequently use highly interdisciplinary approaches to study insulin communication between body and brain from molecule to cell, brain, cognition, and behaviour. In addition to increased mechanistic understanding, the PRIME project aims to outline new directions for research and clinical care.
Related news items
Frank Walboomers 25-years work anniversary at Radboudumc17 September 2020
Frank Walboomers, associate professor at the research group Regenerative Biomaterials at the Dept. of Dentistry (theme Reconstructive & Regenerative Medicine), celebrated his 25th work anniversary at Radboudumc.read more
Tjitske Kleefstra appointed endowed professor of Clinical genetics and psychopathology of rare syndromes17 September 2020
Tjitske Kleefstra has been appointed endowed professor of Clinical genetics and psychopathology of rare syndromes at the department of Neurodevelopmental disorders, with effect from 1 September.read more
Annette Schenck appointed professor of Translational Genetics17 September 2020
Annette Schenck has been appointed professor of Translational Genetics at the department of Neurodevelopmental disorders, with effect from 1 August. The chair will bring together fundamental and translational research in the field of brain developmental disorders.read more
Transfer of new anti-hepatitis C drugs across the human placenta9 September 2020
In a recent publication in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers from the Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Pharmacy, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, investigated the placental passage of two such drugs for the first time.read more
Nanda Rommelse appointed endowed professor of Neurodevelopmental disorders8 September 2020
Nanda Rommelse has been appointed professor of Neurodevelopmental disorders with effect from 1 September. The chair will function as a bridge between the Psychiatry Department of the Radboudumc with Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.read more
Does the COVID-19 cytokine storm exist? Research may have an impact on the chances of success of a specific treatment4 September 2020
Following the measurement of several important cytokines in patients with COVID-19 and various other severe diseases, researchers at Radboud university medical center now show that COVID-19 is not characterized by a cytokine storm.read more