The NAD (Nanoparticles for therapy and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease) Project is aiming to develop nanoparticles for Alzheimer's diagnosis and therapy.
Recent statistics estimate that 24.3 million people have dementia today, with 4.6 million new cases of dementia every year (one new case every 7 seconds). In the EU, about 5 million people have dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounting for over 3 million.
The goal of the study, developed in the field of nanotechnologies, is to create nanoparticles (NPs) able to cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the brain, principal site of Alzheimer's disease. Molecules that can recognize (diagnosis) and destroy (therapy) the amyloid deposits, characteristic of the illness, will be attached to the nanoparticles, and tested on animal models of the disease (transgenic mice). If the expectations of the research are attained, future experiments can be performed on humans. The results can have an enormous impact on the early diagnosis and therapy of a disease of high incidence, which takes a heavy social cost.
The NAD project involves 19 European research centers of 13 European countries (Italy, France, Slovakia, Sweden, Netherlands, Hungary, Finland, Greece, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom, Portugal, and Denmark)
Research area: NMP-2007-4.0-4 Substantial innovation in the European medical industry: development of nanotechnology-based systems for in-vivo diagnosis and therapy (in coordination with topic HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-7 and HEALTH-2007-1.2-3 in Theme 1 "Health")
Prof. Masserini of University of Milano-Bicocca is the scientific coordinator of the project.