NA Centre of Excellence marks a major new collaboration
International research collaboration on the NA group of diseases took an exciting step forward this summer with the announcement that a new Centre of Excellence for Neuroacanthocytosis Syndromes is to be established in Brazil.
|From left to right: Dr. Benedikt Bader, Prof. Adrian Danek, Dr. Guilherme Riccioppo
The collaboration has been spearheaded by Prof. Adrian Danek and Dr. Benedikt Bader of Germany, joined by Dr. Guilherme Riccioppo from the University of Sao Paolo-Ribeirao Preto. Dr. Riccioppo visited Munich in August to learn the techniques for diagnosing chorea-acanthocytosis from blood samples as preparation for launching the method in Brazil.
Prof. Danek, Dr. Bader and Mrs Gertrud Kwiatkowski are to visit Ribeirao Preto later this year and will discuss his findings and deal with any challenges encountered. It is hoped that the diagnostic blood test for chorea-acanthocytosis, which has proven so successful in Germany, can be offered throughout Brazil by the end of 2009.
“Early diagnosis of the NA group of diseases is so important for sufferers and their families, and we're very hopeful that this new collaboration will deliver benefits throughout Latin America," said Glenn Irvine, co-founder of the Advocacy for Neuroacanthocytosis Patients.
During their Brazil visit, Prof. Danek and Dr. Bader will also report on the latest medical science and research on the neuroacanthocytosis syndromes, laying the foundation for the Centre’s work in Brazil and across Latin America. The Centre will be housed with a group, led by Prof. Vitor Tumas and Dr. Guilherme Riccioppo, which currently specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders.
The Centres in Ribeirao Preto and Munich plan to pool future knowledge, share the collection and analysis of tissue from NA patients, use the NA databank and cooperate when applying for grants internationally. Research at both Centres concentrates on neurodegenerative processes in cognitive and motor skills systems, which are responsible for NA as well as for other illnesses.
Prof. Danek, Prof. Vitor Tumas, Dr. Bader and Dr. Riccioppo would like to thank the Bayerische Forschungsallianz (Bavarian Research Alliance - Munich, Germany) and the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (German Ministry of Education and Research - Berlin, Germany) for their financial support. They also send their thanks to the Advocacy for Neuroacanthocytosis Patients (London, UK) for meeting the cost of the chorein Western blot and Prof. Hans A. Kretzschmar from the Zentrum für Neuropathologie und Prionforschung (Neuropathology and Prion Research Centre in Munich, Germany) for technical and logistics support.