DECODE-PD About the Centre
The Centre will integrate cutting-edge molecular, computational, pharmacological, and clinical neuroscience with the aim to improve the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects nearly 10 million people worldwide and is the most rapidly growing neurological disorder, with the number of patients expected to double by the year 2040. PD is a major cause of death and disability with a devastating and fast rising global socioeconomic impact. Lacking understanding of the fundamental molecular processes driving the initiation and progression of PD, we are unable to develop neuroprotective therapies able to delay or arrest disease progression. Thus, affected individuals face a future of progressive disability, early institutionalization, and premature death.
The vision of the DECODE-PD KGJ Center is to revolutionize the field of PD, by moving us away from a single entity of obscure and presumably complex etiology, and into multiple molecularly defined disease subtypes, each driven by distinct and potentially treatable pathogenic processes. This will enable us to design and test targeted therapies for each emerging molecular disease subtype, thus setting the foundation for tailored, personalized medicine for individuals with PD.
Working towards this goal, our main objectives are:
- Stratify PD into subtypes based on mitochondrial dysfunction and other underlying molecular processes.
- Understand the cellular mechanisms involved in the etiopathogenesis and clinical progression of emerging disease subtypes.
- Treat PD by identifying drugs targeting the molecular pathophysiology of disease subtypes.
- Track the clinical and molecular progression of PD subtypes in living patients, and develop biomarkers enabling patient selection for tailored therapies, thus paving the way for personalized medicine in PD.
The K.G. Jebsen Center for Parkinson’s Disease (DECODE-PD) is directed by Prof. Charalampos Tzoulis from the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Bergen, bringing together an interdisciplinary team from the Department of Biomedicine and Haukeland University Hospital.