Welcome to HelMA
Helmholtz Alliance for Mental Health in an Ageing Society
Since in our society life expectancy is progressively increasing and in parallel birth rates are regressing the number of elderly people will become greater than ever. In 2000, there will be 600 million people aged 60 and over in the world; by 2025 this number will have risen to 1.2 billion and to 2 billion in 2050. As a consequence the prevalence of chronic age-related diseases such as degenerative diseases of the nervous system will be gradually rising and represents a major threat to our health care system. According to a prognosis of the WHO, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease belong to the top 4 of diseases accounting for most healthy years lost from year 2020 onwards.
Age, environmental factors (life style), and genetic predisposition represent the main risk factors for the development of the two major neurological diseases, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease. However, the interplay between these individual factors and their contribution to disease development is only scarcely understood.
According to the Helmholtz mission to "solve grand challenges which face society", outstanding researchers from four Helmholtz Centres, the Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry and five German Universities have joined under the roof of the Helmholtz Alliance for Mental Health in an Ageing Society (HelMA) to mutually explore the aetiology, pathogenesis of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease and search for potential therapeutic interventions.