Gene Therapy in the Central Nervous System
Neurodegenerative diseases represent a substantial burden for society in terms of both patient suffering and socio-economic costs. For example, in Europe nearly 3 million persons suffer from stroke, over 3 5 million from dementia (with a higher proportion of women than men) and about 1 million from Parkinson’s disease (PD). Overall, diseases of the nervous system, includingeyediseases, account for approximately 25% of all health costs in the EU, which in money terms translates into hundreds of billions of Euros. With increasing life expectancy, this cost is likely to greatly increase, since the prevalence of dementia is 18% of the population between 80 and 85 years of age and 32% between 85 and 90. Similarly, PD affects more than 10% of the population after the age of 85. There is no cure for most of the neurodegenerative diseases, and the very few available treatments are unsatisfactory. The urgent need to develop therapies will rely on the unravelling of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these afflictions and on the development and use of post-genomics and cell/gene transfer technologies.
KeywordsAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Gene Therapy Tyrosine Hydroxylase Adenoviral Vector Retrograde Transport
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