Extended lifespan is a new and permanent feature of human life globally. Ageing is accompanied by cognitive decline and greater risk of depression and anxiety. At the cellular level, diminished birth of new neurons (neurogenesis) contributes to cognitive decline and increased depressive and anxiety disorders that are associated with ageing.

The r’BIRTH consortium is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network that gathers experts on molecular mechanisms of age-associated pathologies including neurodegeneration and depression. They work together to identify stress-regulated molecules provoking neuronal death and hindering neurogenesis, and monitor the consequences of these processes in human brain. We predict that smart-targeting of stress signaling will act synergistically to improve brain function in depressive disorders and ageing.

The work is funded by the European Commission (FP7) under the sub-programme PEOPLE (Marie Curie Actions). 16 early stage researchers will be trained in the topics of the programme i.e. molecular imaging (MRI), proteomics, immunotechnology, high content screening, molecular neuroscience, neuropharmacology and patient studies. The training is provided by seven universities, two private companies and one non-profit research organisation from 7 European countries.

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