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September 26, 2016 - AETIONOMY has now recruited over 100 people into the Parkinson’s Disease portion of the European clinical study on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. This milestone means that the project is 25% completed in the PD portion. The Alzheimer’s disease portion is being recruited via EPAD which is now also actively recruiting. Within the project, patients with neurodegenerative diseases and healthy people are providing blood and cerebrospinal samples to undergo detailed molecular analysis at leading European laboratories. The purpose of AETIONOMY is to propose novel patient classification based on mechanism-based taxonomies, for both PD and AD. “The AETIONOMY study will allow us to validate in real patients two hypotheses for PD and for AD,” explains the study coordinator Prof. Jean Christophe Corvol of ICM, Paris. “This will then allow clinicians to stratify patients according to biological mechanisms of the disease and potentially to target specific sub-population for drug development.”

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Developing a “mechanism-based taxonomy” of Alzheimer´s and Parkinson´s Disease.

Currently, the established disease classification systems such as ICD (international classification of disease) make use of phenotypes measured clinically or using standard laboratory and imaging techniques to establish major types and subtypes of diseases.

In contrast to the established disease classification systems, a “mechanism-based taxonomy” is based upon the knowledge about the biological pathways involved in the aetiology of a disease to guide the classification of disease classes and subclasses.

A specific challenge we face in the course of the AETIONOMY project lies in the fact that for most neurodegenerative diseases the dysfunctional biological pathways underlying the disease are not known. AETIONOMY will therefore have to first define new routes towards the identification of the underlying disease mechanisms before organising these and proposing a rational disease taxonomy for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, we will validate the mechanism-based taxonomy at least partially in the course of a prospective clinical study.

AETIONOMY is an IMI funded project (EU and EFPIA effort).