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One of the most exciting scientific frontiers today is that of neurosciences. There is a growing interest in understanding some of the underlying chemistry which can influence the functioning of the human brain, particularly the chemical changes responsible for neurological and mental diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer, schizophrenia and depression. Exciting recent developments in proteomics and genomics promise to provide answers to many questions in this field, specially through the application of computational neuroscience and bioinformatics. The molecular basis of human memory i.e. identification of the precise molecular mechanisms for thought storage and recall remains a mystery. A theory based on the freezing of the conformational mobility of glycoproteins in the brain hippocampus by hydrogen bonding between the hydroxyl groups in glycoproteins offers a possible answer and may provide insights to some neural disease processes[1].

The present issue is largely focused on certain important aspects of neuroscience. The first article by Copani and coworkers discusses the mechanisms involved in neuronal apoptosis associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and drug development based on this hypothesis. The second review by Munoz-Torrero is concerned with the potential of acetylcholinesterase inhibition (ACHEIs) for use in AD. There is growing evidence of the key role of the ß-amyloid peptide (Aß) in the pathogenesis of AD, and the review discusses certain classes of ACHEIs which target Aß aggregation and/or other biological targets and which are promising anti-Alzheimer drug candidates.

The third review by Ascoli and coworkers provides an insight of neuro-molecular medicine from the computational perspective. It describes how simulations can be used to study certain aspects of chemical agonists, antagonists and modulators in the nervous system. The review by Serretti and coworkers is concerned with the genetic framework responsible for the proarrhythmic effects of antidepressants and antipsychotics. These proarrhythmic cardiac side effects may be due to the interference caused by antidepressants and antipsychotics with certain ion channels which regulate the depolarization and repolarisation of cardiac myocytes. The review by Capasso discusses the role of prostaglandins (PGs) and nitric oxide (NO) in the development of brain excitability.

Danese and coworkers have reviewed studies carried out on the mechanism of action, safety and efficacy of budesonide in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

It is hoped that these excellent reviews written by leading authorities in the field, who are all members of the Editorial Board of Current Medicinal Chemistry, will prove to be of wide interest to researchers in these fields.

From 2009 onwards the journal will be publishing 36 issues based on reviews focusing on structure activity relationship analyses, technologies in inhibiting certain targets, mechanism of action, synthesis and biological properties of new agents and new targets of potential therapeutic intervention, and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationships.

The journal has become one of the top journals in the field of medicinal chemistry since it was founded 15 years ago. I would like to thank the Editorial & Advisory Board Members for their continual support by contributing high quality reviews and refereeing papers for the journal. Efforts of the hard working and enthusiastic editorial staff particularly Ms. Afshan Siddiq and Mr. Muhammad Faisal Shahab, are gratefully acknowledged.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2008

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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