The nervous system is comprised of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Together they control all the workings of the body. When something goes wrong with a part of the nervous system, one can experience difficulties with movement, speech, swallowing, breathing or learning. Problems may also develop that affect memory, senses or mood.
Four decades of intense research and development efforts have failed to yield any effective interventions for neuronal diseases. The lack of success in the search for a drug or treatment to improve the devastating symptoms of these chronic neuronal diseases has been one of modern medicine’s greatest frustrations, with a 99.5% failure rate. This contrasts with an approximate 20% success rate for cancer drug research.
The lack of effective therapies for neuronal diseases create an enormous social and economic burden on society.
Major types of neuronal diseases include:
- Diseases caused by faulty genes, such as Huntington’s disease and muscular dystrophy
- Nervous system development disorder, such as spina bifida
- Degenerative diseases, where nerve cells are damaged or die, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
- Diseases of the blood vessels supplying the brain, such as stroke
- Injuries to the spinal cord and brain
- Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy
Although these diseases occur in different regions and display different causes or origins, they share common cellular and molecular mechanisms.
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