The recent biological revolution, spurred by the various genome projects, will lead to novel discoveries of the basic principles governing biological processes in the cell and, as a consequence, to a thorough understanding of life in general. The aging of the human population has uncovered a panoply of novel disorders which threaten the overall balance of modern societies. Among these diseases, neurodegenerative conditions play a central role because of their highly debilitating nature and the tremendous societal costs associated. Diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are becoming more and more common. Currently, there are no effective therapeutic strategies to prevent the onset or to stop progression of these diseases, and symptomatic treatments are reasonably successful only in Parkinson's disease. While tremendous progress has been made in the understanding of the underlying mechanisms associated with these disorders, it is essential to devote more attention to their molecular basis, in the hope that we can open novel avenues for therapeutic intervention. The present issue focuses on the current status of drug discovery for central nervous system disorders with the goal of contributing to the closure of the gap between the bench and bedside. Numerous questions demand urgent answers: Is aging an irreversible process? Can we interfere with or prevent the accumulation of toxic protein intermediates? Can we restore the normal function of cellular quality control mechanisms? Can we identify novel targets and novel therapeutic opportunities? Although the answers to these questions remain elusive, recent findings at the molecular level in these different diseases are opening whole new avenues for therapeutic intervention that are only starting to be explored. The review articles included describe the new paradigms under consideration for targeting the broad spectrum of human neurodegenerative diseases. We believe that this issue represents a contemporary and comprehensive view on how different molecular aspects of disease can be used as targets for drug discovery, and we hope the broad readership of the journal find these articles informative and inspiring.
CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.