Project TIRCON

Project Completed (Duration: 01.11.11 - 31.10.15)

TIRCON (Treat Iron-Related Childhood-Onset Neurodegeneration) is an Integrated Project in the health sector of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union (FP7).

TIRCON is dedicated to a group of disorders called Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation (NBIA), which are characterized by high iron levels in the brain. This neurological disease usually has a very severe course, with onset in childhood in the majority of cases. There is still poor knowledge about NBIA primarily because it is so rare that collecting significant data is a challenge. Currently, there is no proven therapy to halt or reverse Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN) or any other form of NBIA. This is especially unfortunate as both the iron accumulation in NBIA and the biochemical defect in PKAN are predicted to be amenable to drug-based treatment. Thus, the absence of adequately powered randomized clinical trials is not due to a lack of therapeutic options but to the rarity of the disease, the lack of patient registries, and the fragmentation of therapeutic research worldwide. The grant from FP7 allows TIRCON to address these issues and explore new treatment options for this rare disease.

The project, which is coordinated by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), includes 12 other partners from around the world. It aims to set up a structured network for the diagnosis and treatment of NBIA disorders. This is accomplished by bringing together the existing outstanding, but scattered expertise in NBIA research and care throughout Europe and on the international level.

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