Worldwide, between 7 million to 10 million people have Parkinson’s disease and more than 30 million have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Currently, there is no cure and no effective way to slow or stop disease progression.
VAI scientists aim to change that by investigating the complex factors that give rise to neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, from genetics and epigenetics to aging, inflammation and the structure of the brain itself — even the role of the gut and the immune system. By leveraging discoveries made in VAI’s labs and collaborating with researchers around the world, our scientists are working to translate breakthroughs into life-changing new treatments for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and related dementias, multiple system atrophy, and depression.
Van Andel Institute’s West Michigan Neurodegenerative Diseases (MiND) Program is a collaborative effort to identify genetic and epigenetic changes that may play roles in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Our goal? To move the needle in our understanding of these diseases, power new discoveries and leverage our findings to inform groundbreaking treatment strategies.
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