Disease Indications

Globally, millions of people suffer from neurological disorders that drastically affect quality of life. Some of these disorders can occur early in life, such as meningitis and multiple sclerosis, while others mostly occur in the elderly, such as Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease. Across these disorders complex symptoms are common, such as cognitive deficits, physical disability and fatigue, all of which seem to be driven by an interplay between neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Unfortunately, for most of these disorders, effective interventions are limited, which necessitates new translational research into disease mechanisms, diagnostic as well as prognostic tools and new treatments.

Recent advances in the field of brain imaging have provided unique insights into these disease mechanisms. For instance, we can now visualize cellular inflammatory responses with PET, neurodegenerative changes by measuring brain atrophy, and changes in brain structure and function with advanced network imaging. In addition, these techniques could soon be used to image regenerative processes like remyelination. The challenge for the coming years will be to translationally integrate these findings, in order to move towards improving the lives of neurological patients.

The focus of this years conference will therefore lie on the interplay of these imaging breakthroughs with fundamental research. The vision is to gain, combine and translate knowledge that can be applied towards new approaches in neurology, in order to improve the level of care for our patients.

Disease Indications 2013-2017


In previous conferences TN2 covered neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Alzheimer’s disease (AD), other forms of dementia and Parkinson’s disease (PD), are among the biggest health care challenges of the 21st century. Neurodegenerative disorders share a profound pathophysiological and clinical complexity. For the majority of patients, multiple causes in concert lead to the development of disease, which unfolds over the course of years, probably decades. A careful clinical evaluation is the corner stone for a valid diagnosis of any neurodegenerative disorder.
Moreover, it provides fundamental insight into the basic mechanisms that are critical for the development and validation of animal models and biomarkers. To date, treatment is limited to alleviation of symptoms, but our ultimate goal is to recognize disease before it manifests clinically, understand disease mechanisms and subsequently modify the disease process to prevent progression to a full blown disease state.
At TN2 it was discussed how we can improve early diagnostics, understand the clinical heterogeneity and mixed pathologies, and unravel the underlying mechanisms in patients and relevant model systems.

Neuroinfection and -inflammation

In parallel during the 2017 TN2 confence, we covered neuroinfection and –inflammation. The focus was on Multiple Sclerosis, meningitis & encephalitis, and inflammatory neuropathies. In these areas, VUmc/VU (MS Center Amsterdam) and AMC (Neuroinfections Amsterdam) have leading roles both national and international, both from a clinical and a research perspective. Research on the blood-brain-barrier, a crucial dominator of multiple sclerosis and meningitis, was strongly encouraged. Innovative projects outside these areas of primary interest were also welcomed, though.
Translational research presented included integrative approaches running from bedside to molecule and vice versa.