Ghent scientists get half million grant for Alzheimer’s research
Share article:
Share article:

Ghent scientists get half million grant for Alzheimer’s research

© Robina Weermeijer for Unsplash

A team of researchers at Ghent University has received a grant of €500,000 to look into the possibilities for using immunotherapy to tackle Alzheimer’s disease.

At present, there exists no treatment for Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia caused by the decay of brain cells. It is the most common form of dementia, starting with loss of memory and progressing until the patient is no longer able to carry out the simplest of tasks to take care of themselves.

In the absence of any other option, the Ghent team is looking into immunotherapy, which uses the body’s own immune system to tackle disease. The idea is to train the body to tackle Alzheimer’s in the way it tackles other pathogens, like bacteria or viruses.

The money comes from the Alzheimer Research Foundation, a non-profit organisation that supports research into the disease. It goes to two projects at Ghent: one to use the immune system to defeat or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, and the other to examine the role of a protein, known as apoE4, in the disease, and at the same time to look at how nanobodies taken from llamas can be used to change the properties of the protein.

Each project receives €250,000 from a total grant of €3.2 million from the foundation for 17 projects, funded entirely from donations.

We are going to test a new type of therapy and investigate whether it is possible to treat, or at least slow down, Alzheimer’s disease by means of immunotherapy,” said Professor Roosmarijn Vandenbroucke, in charge of that project. “Such therapy is already being used in treatment. against cancer, and we are going to see whether that is also possible with this disease.”

The grant will allow one researcher to work full-time on the project for a period of three years.

I hope that by the end of that period we can prove that one of those ways can be used to activate the immune system,” Prof. Vandenbroucke said.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Angèle releases new single: ‘Bruxelles je t’aime’
Belgian singer Angèle has unveiled her latest song ahead of the release of her new album, due later this year. 'Bruxelles je t'aime' (Brussels I ...
23 million chickens and 1.7 million pigs: Climate experts call for livestock cut
Flander's livestock needs to be drastically cut to save the climate and reach the emission reduction targets, according to the latest advice from the ...
Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...
Health minister supports use of Covid Safe Ticket in workplace
As the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been expanded in Brussels and is set to in Wallonia, federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has ...
Maggots show Conings may have lived longer following disappearance
Former army soldier Jürgen Conings, whose disappearance in mid-May resulted in a month-long manhunt, may have been alive for longer than has been ...
Pandora Papers: European Parliament describes UK and US as global hubs for money laundering and tax evasion
The European Parliament adopted on Thursday a resolution taking the European Commission to task for not doing enough to combat money laundering, tax ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 29 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than 100 people hospitalised with coronavirus per day
More than 100 people are being hospitalised per day in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus, as the rise in new Covid-19 infections continues its ...
Digital well-being: being healthy in a hyperconnected world
There was hardly any doubt about the direction that digital innovation was moving in, but whilst the pandemic restricted human contact and slowed ...
Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...
Ruined photos from flood victims restored for free
Much of what victims of this summer’s deadly flooding lost is irreplaceable, but when it comes to photographs that were ruined, a Brussels company is ...