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Funder/CentreMaastricht Institute of Brain & Behaviour
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Maastricht Institute of Brain & Behaviour

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Maastricht Institute of Brain & BehaviourResearch Funder/Centre

Type of institution

Research centre

Website

http://www.unimaas.nl

Description

The Universiteit Maastricht (UM) is the youngest university in the Netherlands and growing rapidly. Most research at the UM is accommodated in multidisciplinary themes and focal points. For further clustering, these themes and focal points are accommodated in research institutes with an independent board and management structure. The further aim is to participate in research schools - centers of high quality research with structured attention for the training of young researchers. The department of Neuropsychology is a division of the Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, and also part of the Maastricht Brain & Behaviour Institute.

Aims

The research of the Neuropsychology Department focuses on brain-behaviour relationships, especially in relation to aging. Studies involve normal and abnormal human cognitive aging, animal studies and biochemical research. The Neuropsychology Department is part of the Faculty of Medicine and plays an active role in several educational programs within the Faculty, and is also incorporated in the Maastricht Faculty of Psychology.

Main research areas

Neuropsychology; normal and abnormal human cognitive aging, animal studies and biochemical research. RESEARCH LINE 1. COGNITION AND AGING Maastricht Aging Study (MAAS) Neurocognitive research involving adults and elderly people is focused on the process of cognitive aging in healthy individuals ranging in age from young adult (20 years) to very old. The Maastricht Aging Study (MAAS) forms the core of this research line. Successful Aging (SOW) Research into factors which are determinants of "successful cognitive aging" is carried out in large intervention studies performed within the framework of two programs funded by grants awarded by NWO (Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research) in 2000 and 2001. Biological and psychosocial determinants of cognitive aging Since a couple of years, the relative contribution of biological and psychosocial factors to cognitive functioning and processes form the core of the research into cognitive aging. Brain imaging research and cognitive aging In the recent years, much attention has been paid to developing brain imaging research. Structural MRI research has investigated the white matter anomalies in various neuropsychiatric diseases. In such research, newly developed methods of data processing have proven effective in registering subtle changes in patients with mild brain disorders. These studies involve patients with alcoholism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease and age-related disorders. RESEARCH LINE 2. COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS Cognitive disorders Patient-related research into cognitive and behavioral disorders (dysthymic disorders, depression and dementia) in the elderly is particularly focused on middle-aged and older subjects who have memory problems or who can no longer cope. Determinants of pathological deterioration of cognitive functioning Current research projects deal with cognitive and behavioral disorders in dementia and similar diseases. Completed PhD projects focused on possible prodromes of dementia, particularly Alzheimer's disease. In these studies, structural changes in the hippocampus were found to be related to cognitive problems and the incidence of dementia. Depression as a comorbid factor also appeared to be of great importance, particularly in relation with cognitive dysfunctions. Alzheimer Center Limburg An Alzheimer Center has been established within the Institute, following the example of similar centers in North America and the Alzheimer's Disease Service Centers in Great Britain. Support from the Netherlands Alzheimer Foundation has made it possible for the Maastricht research group to extend its applied research into forgetfulness and dementia and their early stages.

Contact

Prof. Dr. Jelle Jolles

Address

Universiteit Maastricht PO Box 616Department o
Netherlands

Telephone

+31 (0)43-3882222

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