According to Science Minister Prof. Dr. Peter Frankenberg, Baden-Württemberg has an excellent neurosciences profile, both in research as well as in the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases. The state’s achievements are well known on the national and international level. Important research and therapy centres include the Tübingen-based Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and the Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neurosciences excellence cluster. In addition, Tübingen is also home to a DZNE (German Centre of Neurodegenerative Disorders) working group.
The Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region with hospitals and research centres in Heidelberg and Mannheim is characterised by the intensive collaboration between the university, university hospitals and the German Cancer Research Center in the field of neurooncology. Experts from a broad range of different neurosciences disciplines recently met at the Neurowoche (Neuro Week) in Mannheim from 21st to 25th September to discuss research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options. "The Neurowoche focuses on issues that are becoming increasingly important in an ageing society with numerous neurodegenerative diseases," said Science Minister Professor Dr. Peter Frankenberg in his opening address.
"Every year, 250,000 people are diagnosed with dementing diseases in Germany alone, 15,000 with Parkinson's and around 200,000 are affected by strokes. It is therefore important to intensively study the function of the brain and its diseases, as well as develop new therapies. Baden-Württemberg is an excellent location for this, as it is home to neuroscience research groups that carry out intensive studies," said Prof. Frankenberg. The Minister stated that he very much appreciated that the neuroscientific societies and associations were able to attend a joint congress and highlighted that this interdisciplinary approach contributed to establishing new and maintaining existing cooperations.
Frankenberg also referred to the Bernstein Centres, which are part of the Helmholtz Association and named after the physiologist Julius Bernstein (1839 to 1917). These centres are specifically focused on neuroscientific research. The German Ministry of Education and Research supports the Bernstein Centres in the National Bernstein Network Computational Neuroscience (NNCN) with funds totalling 150 million euros. In Baden-Württemberg, Bernstein Centres are located in Heidelberg, Freiburg and Tübingen.