SFB 596 (Special Research Area): Molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration
|Prof.||Ian||Maja||Technical University Munich||Germany|
|Prof.||Christian||University Clinic Munich||Germany|
|Prof.||Thomas||Gasser||Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research||Germany|
|Institution||Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Adolf-Butenandt-Institute|
|Street Address||Schillerstr. 44|
- Neurodegenerative disease in general
The mean life expectancy only 100 years ago was approximately 37 years – today it is as high as 100 years. This enormous increase in life expectancy is unfortunately accompanied by a huge increase of age -related disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and neurodegeneration associated with dementia. Age related dementias are to a large extent associated with Alzheimer’s-, Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and Parkinson’s- and related disorders. Currently we have already about 1.2 million Alzheimer disease (AD) patients only within Germany. With the increasing life expectancy we have to expect a further significant increase of the number of patients in the near future. We are far away from being prepared to handle such a huge number of patients. All patients will at some point require 24 hours care by experienced nurses. We will not be able to finance a health care system for demented patients and the education of a sufficient number of caregivers in the near future. Unfortunately for the most abundant forms of dementias, AD and FTLD, no treatment is available. Moreover, for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related disorders only symptomatic treatment is currently available. In order to prevent or at least slow age related neurodegeneration, new, mechanism-based drugs are required. However, these can only be developed if we understand the detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms of such diseases and are able to identify target proteins for disease intervention.