INComb – Combating Incontinence

Joint symposium for INComb, TRUST and SEA in Stockholm June 8-11 2011
Urinary incontinence - from basic science to clinical practice

66 million people in the European Union suffer from urinary incontinence, urgency and increased frequency of micturition.

  • Health-care costs associated with this condition are immense.
  • Current treatments are effective in only a minority of patients.
  • Urgency to void, conveniently described as Overactive Bladder (OAB) Symptom Complex, is the main problem suffered by the patient.
  • The mechanisms underlying OAB are unknown!

This project aims at obtain a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in OAB. To improve diagnostics and develop novel therapies. It is a translational project involving both clinical and preclinical academic research groups from several European countries, as well as collaboration with the industry.

For researchers

The INComb project includes participation of clinical /urological and basic research groups with a high scientific reputation in their respective areas. The groups are active at Karolinska Institutet, Queens´s University Belfast ,  AMC at University of Amsterdam , University of Zurich , University College London , Porto University , University of Surrey , Kantonsspital Winterthur, Lund University , and Pfizer Limited This constellation was brought together to specifically address the scientific issues above. We also invite younger and senior colleagues interested in incontinence and related problems to interact with us in this important task.

Job opportunities

About the workpackages

For the public

For most of us urinary bladder filling and emptying are natural and uncomplicated events. However, for a large number of people, maybe you, your friend or your relative, lower urinary tract problems can be a major problem in daily life. This can take the form of involuntary urine leakage (incontinence) or strong sensations of urgency (overactive bladder). Although these conditions are not lethal or requiring hospitalization, they have major impact on the quality of life. Many daily life activities can become complicated, e.g. to always worry where to find the nearest toilet. Costs for incontinence aids are high for both patient and society. Secondary complications might develop, e.g. urinary tract infections, fractures while visiting the bathroom at night, as well as psychological and social problems.
Even in our modern European societies, incontinence is still a socially stigmatizing condition and several of the patients do not discuss their conditions openly and even avoid seeking help.
Today the medical treatments, which include, for instance, pharmaceutical blockade of bladder contractions or injections of botulinum toxin into the bladder wall do not help all. Our group has been formed with funding from the European Commission and we have gathered together both clinical doctors/scientists and basic scientists with the aim to better understand the mechanisms of the disease and if possible find new possibilities for treatment. We do not, from this project, offer direct clinical help but welcome patient organizations, politicians interested in public health issues and interested individuals to contact us for further interaction.

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