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Paper Chase

Back to the future: the 'old-fashioned' way to new medications for neurodegeneration.

Nat. Med.. 8 10, 2004;10 Suppl():S51-7.
Lansbury PT.

Harvard Center for Neurodegeneration and Repair and the Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 65 Landsdowne St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Despite the increasing prevalence of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and less common neurodegenerative diseases-and despite the large amount of primary research that has been carried out into the causes and pathogenic features of these conditions-progress toward effective treatments has been remarkably slow. Why is this, and what can be done to accelerate it? There are a number of obstacles to effective drug discovery for neurodegeneration, but by considering these problems it is possible to identify lessons for the future.