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Advancing neuroscience

Since many are now surviving previously fatal conditions through medical advances, the result is an extension of the average life-span. It is therefore not unexpected that a concomitant increase would be seen in diseases associated with old age: neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In order to treat these devastating diseases, we need to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease pathogenesis. This will enable the identification of possible pathways for clinical intervention while pointing to putative biomarkers for early diagnosis of these disorders. One exciting and potentially groundbreaking avenue for treating neurodegeneration is the use of stem cells. Although stem cell implantation is still in its early days, there is great promise in using multipotent or pluripotent stem cells to replace diseased cells in the brain. This booklet brings together both of these topics: elucidating neurodegenerative pathways and developing the cures.

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