Marijne Vandebergh, PhD

2024 Clinical Research Training Scholarship in ALS and Related Disorders


Title/Institution: Postdoctoral Fellow, VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

Project Title: “Elucidating the genetic architecture of disease heterogeneity in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration through the investigation of genetic modifiers of disease onset”

Project Summary: One of the most common causes of early onset dementia in people younger than 65 years is frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), which is also responsible for 10-20% of all dementias. FTLD affects core human qualities, and places a high burden on people of working age. However, there are currently no treatments that can delay the onset or prevent FTD from progressing.

Dr. Vandebergh’s research will explore why FTLD causes different symptoms in different people, and why the age of onset varies. One-third of people affected by FTLD show a strong family history, however, they also experience different age at onset and different symptoms. The project will focus on genetic factors to identify how genes like GRN, MAPT, and C9orf72 contribute to the disease. The results of this research may lead to new treatments to delay or prevent FTLD.