Leiden Center for Translational Neuroscience (LCTN) was formed in 2008 by top neurology, psychiatric, genetic and neuroscience groups in LUMC and UL. LCTN aims to facilitate translational Neuroscience research and education to the benefit of patients and society. The dissemination of the research is stimulated by scientific publications and meetings, and information to patients and the public.


The hallmark of the research is a strong multidisciplinary and translational character; from patient to model and back. This integration opens the perspective of real implementation of translational neuroscience research with the ultimate goal of better diagnosis and treatment.

Two main lines of research with considerable complementarity are defined:

Paroxysmal Brain Disorders

This research line primarily targets the cause, diagnosis and treatment of a number of common brain disorders. The most important diseases are: migraine, epilepsy, sleep disorders, syncope, chronic pain and depression. The research topics are disease-oriented and coordinated by a multidisciplinary team of clinical and basic neuroscientists.

Neurological Motor Disorders

Our research also targets the cause, course and treatment of a number of congenital and acquired muscle and neurodegenerative diseases that impair normal movement. These include diseases like Duchenne and Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy characterized by muscle weakness and wasting (atrophy) and myasthenia, caused by a defect in the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles.

Top Referral Care

Highly specialized patient care and research are closely integrated: ‘from bed to bench, and back’. State-of-the-art patient diagnosis and care provide a unique basis for scientific research. To further improve the research coherence, we have identified the Synapse as a common research focus.


LCTN invests in top quality education programmes and teaching Medical and Biomedical students on different levels:

  • The Master programme NeuroTrack allows mentor guided specialization for Master students in Neuroscience
  • PhD student courses
  • Multidisciplinary work discussions
  • Personal coaching

Medical Research Profile Translational Neuroscience

The brain and spinal cord together form the nervous control centre of our body. This is where impulses originate that are transmitted to all muscles and other organs via the nervous system. Disorders of the brain-nerve-muscle axis are common, difficult to diagnose, disabling, often undertreated and accordingly, a severe burden for the individual and society.

Combining cross-border expertise may solve biomedical problems and bring answers not found when working in a stand alone fashion. The medical research profile Translational Neuroscience  is carefully chosen in order to combine clinical and fundamental areas of expertise.