Researcht topic and main goals of the BrainTrain project
Until recently, fundamental issues regarding brain function have been addressed primarily using full reductionist approaches. This has led to the identification of many individual genes and proteins with (possible) key roles.
In order to understand brain function and to design rational treatment strategies for brain disorders, we need to use multidisciplinary approaches to reveal the extended genetic and protein networks that underlie cellular function and orchestrate the complexity of neuronal circuitry, and that ultimately translate into complex (abberant) behavior.
Working at different levels of organization (molecular, network or whole organism) individual members of the BrainTrain consortium have recently made important progress in unravelling the principles of neuronal complexity. Members are also engaged in the description of gene regulatory and transcriptional network within larger neuronal networks.
Partners have discovered novel principles of how neurons pass information onto other neurons, and how to share transmitter vesicles among synapses. Gene-cascades that modulate synaptic transmission have been characterized and how modulation of individual synapses affects network properties has been unravelled.
Loci and genes for several major brain disorders have been discovered by BrainTrain participants and novel strategies to identify genetic variations that contribute to complex brain disorders have been designed.
In addition, well-characterized patient populations (cohorts) have been collected within the consortium.