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Central Nervous System Diseases represent one of the major public health challenges today - by Julia von Graberg, Director Pharmaceutical & Biotech Markets

Central nervous system diseases, also known as central nervous system disorders, are a group of neurological disorders (CNSD) that affect the structure or function of the brain or spinal cord, which collectively form the central nervous system (CNS). The nervous system helps all parts of the body communicate effectively. Problems of the nervous system include multiple sclerosis (MS), dementia, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and stroke.

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) is the philosophy that research is carried out 'with' or 'by' members of the public rather than 'to', 'about' or 'for' them.  Particularly people with a CNSD and their carers can make a unique and valuable contribution in every stage of research, helping to make ensuring the highest quality, relevant research.

New Content ItemThe latest in Parkinson's disease

It's thought around 1 in 500 people are affected by Parkinson's disease. Although there's currently no cure for Parkinson's disease, treatments are available to help reduce the main symptoms and maintain quality of life for as long as possible. Get the latest viewpoints on Parkinson’s in our interview with the editors of the Parkinson disease collection.

Improvement in treatments is key

The development of new treatment option is a key priority in the Pharma and Biotech industries. Therapeutic options for CNSD are limited for many patients. Despite increasing knowledge of neurobiology and improvement in treatments, there remains significant need for new medicines which offer higher levels of efficacy and reduced potential for side effects.

Antibody therapy development for CNSD

New Content ItemOne of the biggest challenges for treatments is getting them through the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This is one of the most challenging aspects of e.g. antibody therapy development for CNSD. However, in the last few years we have seen resurgence in interest in tackling this issue with various different approaches. Biotechs are harnessing a variety of techniques, including immunotherapy and gene therapy, to target neurodegenerative disorders.

Nanotechnology-based drug delivery to the brain

Nanomedicine for CNSD is another such approach. Targeting and delivering macromolecular therapeutics to the brain faces many barriers to achieving sufficient drug concentrations at the diseased site while minimizing side effects and toxicity. Nanotechnology-based drug delivery to the brain has emerged as an exciting and promising new means of treating neurological disease, with the potential to fundamentally change the way we approach CNS-targeted therapeutics. The wide variety of available nanotechnologies allows the selection of a nanoscale material with the characteristics best suited to an individual CNS disorder. Register to get free access to the Nano Virtual Special Issue.

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We trust that you and your clinical researches will value our free eBook - Nature Reviews Key Advances in Medicine is ideal for clinical researchers who want a concise summary of the most important clinical and biomedical developments of 2016.

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