INMiND Consortium Met for the Fourth time to discuss Key Achievements

For the fourth time the INMiND consortium came together to discuss the key developments the project achieved in questing the dynamics of microglia activation and its contribution to neuronal degeneration and regeneration by molecular imaging technologies in vivo under various paradigms including immunomodulation.

On February 25 and 26, 62 researchers ranging from basic scientists to clinicians and from students to principle investigators from 13 countries gathered in the wonderful city of Salzburg, Austria to present their scientific progress. The work package leaders of the nine scientific work packages and the training work package presented the latest results and discussed further steps to be undertaken in the last project year to bring the ambitious project to a successful end. In addition Prof Fuchs (University of Bonn and Linz) of the project’s Ethical Advisory Committee joined the meeting and monitored the ethical issues arising from the INMiND research.

During the individual scientific work package presentations and discussions it became clear that the excellent work that had been performed by all project partners was also continued in the forth project year in all research fields. Moreover, the training offer organised by the training work package attracted so far more than 400 researchers, not only from within the INMiND consortium but also from external academic and non-academic research institutes. These researchers took the opportunity to participate in high level trainings, broaden their skills in a wide range of research topics in the field of neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration (NIND) imaging and discuss the state of the art and ways to improve current imaging of NIND.
Among the main scientific results discussed during the fourth annual meeting were the further biological validation of the identified new imaging targets for M2-specific microglia and the successful development and radiolabelling of several compounds directed to these targets. These ligands will undergo detailed analysis of their in vitro and in vivo performance in the next period, including first in human application for 1 of the newly developed radiotracers directed to the P2X7 receptor. Since the beginning of the project a whole range of contrast agents (radiotracers, but also MRI and OI agents) directed to several NIND targets have been tested to unravel the molecular mechanisms involved in NIND, not only in various animal models but also in patients, both in normal disease progression and under various pharmacological manipulations. Results of these studies will be combined in several consensus papers. The INMiND imaging-guided randomised prospective clinical trial on the effect of immunomodulation in patients with mild cognitive impairment could finally get started after some difficulties in obtaining the study drug and imaging agents. First patients underwent baseline imaging and will start drug administration. Within the last year a European database of (R)-[11C]PK11195 data in normal subjects was completed and will be used to assess variability between institutes, to investigate age and gender effects (for which individual data sets are too small), and to serve as a central pool of normal data that can be used for studies in patients (centres do not have to collect additional healthy volunteers).

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