Neurology News

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

New IOM Report on Neurodegenerative Disease

Specialists across a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases agree that there are great gaps in the scientific understanding of causal mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, including associated cellular and molecular mechanisms. Coming together at the Forum on Neuroscience convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) last year, participants suggested a novel approach — moving away from the focus on individual diseases, and looking instead “to better understand clinical variants of common cellular and molecular biological defects,” including such disorders as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and frontotemporal dementia.

Today, the IOM released a new report summarizing the discussions and presentations from the 2012 forum. The report, "Neurodegeneration: Exploring Commonalities Across Diseases" offers a behind-the-scenes look at the ideas of a broad range of thinkers in the field:  private sector sponsors of biomedical and clinical research, federal agencies sponsoring and regulating biomedical and clinical research, foundations, the academic community, and patient advocates and organizations.  

Participant Story C. Landis, PhD, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, noted that financial constraints have further complicated basic science discoveries because “there’s huge tension between hypothesis-driven and discovery science, basic translational and large Phase III clinical trials, and keeping that balance in the current fiscal climate is not as simple as it would be if there were a different fiscal climate.”

Read the full report here: