The laboratory of neurobiology of the Institute Born-Bunge performs research in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob's disease and Parkinson's disease, metabolic and hereditary diseases of the nervous system. Mechanisms of neurodegeneration such as oxidative stress and apoptosis, together with phosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins and inflammatory mechanisms are explored by means of immunohistochemical techniques, light and electron microscopy. Epidemiology and genetics of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and gene-environment interaction in Parkinson's disease are also part of our expertise. The neuropathological diagnosis of neuropathies and myopathies are part of the clinical services that we provide. The research group has developed diagnostic techniques for the detection of TAU, amyloid-beta and 14-3-3 in the cerebrospinal fluid in patients with dementia.
CJD research at the IBB
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a neurodegenerative disease that belongs to the category of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. CJD is transmissible within a species but also in between species for example from humans to apes. Our laboratory has extensive experience with the classic neuropathological diagnosis of CJD. New probes presently allow the development of antibody based laboratory tests. In Belgium there are no clinical laboratories where this type of laboratory test is routinely performed. The Health Council has recommended the development of a methodology to enable a differential diagnose of CJD.
We developed immunohistochemical protocols to detect at least one of these markers in brain with a very high degree of reliability.
The materials necessary to develop these tests are available in the brain-bank and CSF sample collection of our laboratory or by collaboration with other laboratories. These collections contain samples of CJD patients as well as samples of patients that suffer from other neurodegenerative diseases, for example Alzheimer's disease and healthy controls. Our laboratory also possesses antibodies against the CJD markers and the technical know-how about immunoassays and immunohistochemical techniques.