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Prof. Dr. Lutz Frölich

Hector II Stiftung : FRAILBRAIN: Reversing maladaptive reorganization in frail brains: sensorimotor training, brain plasticity and the role of BDNF. 10/2016-09/2019.

Frölich L. BMBF - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung 01ED1203J: Gemeinsames Programm Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen: Biomarker für die Alzheimer-Demenz und Parkinson-Krankheit (BIOMARKAOD). 07/2012-06/2015.

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases (AD and PD) are the two most common neurodegenerative conditions. They cause major costs for the society and suffering and death for millions of patients around the globe. In Europe, more than 8 million individuals have AD or PD. Current treatments are symptomatic but do not stop the underlying disease process. Using biomarkers, we can detect biochemical changes that show when neurons start to die. There are also biochemical tests for brain changes that are specific to AD and PD. Studies suggest that such abnormalities start to appear 10-20 years before onset of symptoms. If we want to do something substantial about these diseases, we need to diagnose them early, before too many neurons have been lost, and then treat them with drugs that inhibit the destructive process. Such drugs are in development. However, in these disease stages we cannot rely on clinical symptoms, as they may be very subtle, or even absent. Instead, research tells us that we could use biomarkers for disease-specific pathologies. Established biomarkers exist for early AD and promising candidates are underway for PD. However, a major problem today is the lack of standardisation regarding exactly how to perform and use the biomarker tests. In BIOMARKAPD we detail how we will standardise the biomarker measurements across Europe, how to collect samples, how to perform the measurements and how to interpret the results. We will also create a biobank with samples from well characterised AD and PD patients, including patients in very early disease stages, as well as neurologically healthy controls. These samples will be used to develop new and better assays and to test new and better biomarker candidates. Finally, we will develop certified reference materials that can be used to harmonise assays that are used to measure the different biomarkers. The deliverables of the proposal will have a major influence on clinical research and drug development for neurodegenerative conditions in general and for AD and PD in particular. They will impact these types of efforts globally and make Europe world-leading in this arena.

Frölich L. BMBF - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung 01KG0822: SIMaMCI-Studie: Simvastatin bei leichter kognitiver Störung (Beteiligung als Prüfzentrum). 01/2009-12/2013.

Die hemmende Wirkung von Statinen auf das Fortschreiten der Alzheimer Krankheit bei Patienten mit leichter kognitiver Beeinträchtigung (Mild Cognitive Impairment=MCI) ist bisher nur unzureichend beschrieben. Dies im Rahmen einer klinischen Studie herauszufinden haben sich die Charité als Sponsor im Sinne des Arzneimittelgesetzes sowie verschiedene Prüfzentren gemeinsam zum Ziel gesetzt.


The European LipiDiDiet project addresses the Impact of Nutritional Lipids on Neuronal and Cognitive Performance in Aging, Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular Dementia. This is based on previous observations that lipids change the risk for dementia. Especially some omega-3 lipids appear to lower the Alzheimer risk. It is our major aim to complement the currently existing medical therapy of Alzheimer’s disease with nutrition, especially at the very first stages of Alzheimer’s disease. But we do not stop at Alzheimer’s, we also develop dietary products that maintain and support the normal cognitive function in healthy aging in general and help reduce cerebrovascular risks. In addition to dietary products we also develop diet and life-style based health care advice for the elderly. The project is based on two elements; one is applied research documenting the value of nutritional support in persons at risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. The other element is basic research generating more knowledge about the possible therapeutic and preventive effects of dietary lipids in model systems of Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular Dementia.

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) -