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Brain Damage and Repair: From Molecular Research to Clinical Therapy

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This book builds a novel bridge from molecular research to clinical therapy. This approach reveals the functional features of neurons and glia in the particular context of vulnerability and self-protection, intracellular properties and extracellular matrix. Arising from this platform, this volume unfolds the molecular and systemic processes underlying migration disorders, axonal injury, repair and regeneration.

The growing incidence of neurological diseases in an aging population provokes an unprecedented challenge for the modern world. Facing the socio-economic consequences, the last years of the 20th century were declared as the “decade of the brain”, and this pretension was reflected by huge investments of both pharmaceutical industry and national research organisations. In consequence, the recent past provided extensive and fascinating insights into the molecular cosmos and the systemic processes of the nervous system. In striking contradistinction to these worldwide efforts and accumulation of information, the progress in novel curative therapies and diagnostic tools is very limited. One reason for this failure is the marginal interconnection between basic research and clinical neurology. On the basis of the European COST program, Brain Damage and Repair intends to fill this gap and to build a bridge between bench and bedside. The concept of Brain Damage and Repair leads the reader from the basic molecular features of brain structures to the patho-physiological response due to neuronal damage and chronic degenerative alterations. The comprehensive delineation of complex structural processes sets a counterpoint to the detailism of modern information overflow. The contents proceed from cells and organelles to the clinical diseases and therapeutic principles, and are completed by chapters on imaging techniques, viral gene transfer and review of actual neuropharmacological strategies. The final chapter takes up the essential aspect of legal international handling of stem cell transfer and patents of DNA/proteins.

Brain Damage and Repair wants to attract the interest of both the basic neuroscientists and the clinical neurologists. The editors hope that the intended advance from molecular research to clinical therapy will improve our understanding and the cure of neurological diseases resulting in a better quality of life.
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