Dementia project

“The VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research focuses on diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy, dystonia and ALS,” explained Director Patrik Verstreken. In the long term, Verstreken wants to gear up his center by setting up a wide-ranging research project on dementia: “Other countries are already doing this. They are spending millions of euros on longitudinal patient studies and detailed research into the functioning of the brain. Flanders must not miss that boat.”

Verstreken proposed an integrative approach using a wide range of technologies: from epidemiological, molecular and cellular research to systems biology and neuro-electronics to animal models. “I realize that studies using animal testing are a sensitive issue,” admitted Verstreken. “But even today, we still only understand a fraction of how our brains fit together and how they function. We cannot possibly simulate the complex reality of the brain with cell cultures. You cannot reproduce what you don’t understand. We cannot find solutions for dementia and other brain diseases without animal testing.”

Patrik Verstreken, Science Director of the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research