Neurological diseases are life-altering conditions resulting from the deterioration of the nervous system. They are among the most common causes of patient morbidity and loss of quality of life. It is currently estimated that one out of every two people will need to consult a neurologist in his or her lifetime.
Some commonly known neurological diseases include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Alzheimer’s disease. Nervous system deterioration also is prevalent in diabetes, where damage to the nerves that provide sensation throughout the body (neuropathy) is the underlying cause of most lower-limb amputations in the U.S. There currently are no cures and few treatments for these and other neurological diseases like pediatric neuromuscular diseases and traumatic nerve injury.
Recent scientific advances provide us with hope for a better understanding of these debilitating conditions and potential treatments. The PNR&D is at the forefront of investigation into the mechanisms that trigger neurological diseases and the identification of mechanism-based, effective therapies. Using a multifaceted approach consisting of active programs in basic science research and clinical and translational research, the PNR&D is making major contributions to the understanding of and treatment options for these conditions.