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Written by Dr Gabriele Wagner, Project Manager, SVDs@target

The annual General Assembly Meetings are traditionally rotating between the partners within the consortium. For this year’s GA meeting we chose the wonderful city of Paris, where Prof. Anne Joutel at INSERM is based. At the first evening we had a very nice get-together with the SVDs@target participants, who already arrived in Paris and researchers of the Leducq Foundation network, who also work on cerebral small vessel diseases.

On the next day we started in the morning with our working program and every Work Package had the chance to present their current work, results and status. The preclinical partners presented their results of the last months followed by lively discussions about the new gained insights and usually finished with a long list of new experiments, that were elaborated during the discussions. The clinical partners presented the current status of the clinical studies and trial and could present first preliminary data from analyses already performed.

One highlight was definitely the good and motivating news, that recruitment of INVESTIGATE-SVDs is about to be completed within the next weeks. After this fully packed day we let it end in a very cosy Parisienne restaurant, where the participants exchanged also beyond science – as the consortium maintains close collaborations, the participants really got to know each other over the last four years.

The second day started with a very helpful discussion regarding our clinical trial TREAT-SVDs and around noon, Prof Dichgans, Coordinator of SVDs@target thanked again all consortium members for the great work and with an additional thank to Anne Joutel’s hospitality he closed the annual meeting. After a relaxing lunch at the terrace of our meeting venue, the participants made their way back home.

About SVDs@target

Stroke and dementia rank among the most pressing health issues in Europe. Cerebral small vessel diseases (SVDs) have emerged as a central link between these two major co-morbidities. SVDs account for more than 30% of strokes and at least 40% of dementia cases. They encounter multiple distinct diseases that can be separated based on their underlying genetic defects, risk factors, and clinical presentations. Despite this profound impact on human health, there are no treatments with proven efficacy against SVDs.

The new network “Small vessel diseases in a mechanistic perspective: Targets for Intervention in Stroke and Dementia(SVDs@target)” is funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and brings together top scientists with a wide range of complementary expertise.

The project also includes 3 studies with stroke patients. They are:

ZOOM@SVDs, a high-resolution imaging study to look at vascular function and brain  damage

INVESTIGATE-SVDs, an imaging study to assess the blood/brain barrier and vascular function,

TREAT-SVDs, testing the effects of different blood pressure lowering agents on vascular function in patients with distinct SVDs

With the better understanding of small vessel diseases SVDs@target will develop novel therapeutic treatments and finally contribute to the prevention of stroke and dementia.

SVDs@target has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 666881.