Importance and hurdles to drug discovery for neurological disease



This is a critical time in neurotherapeutics. The prevalence of neurological disease, such as dementia, stroke, and peripheral neuropathy, is large and growing consequent to the aging population. The personal and societal impact of these disorders is enormous, and the number of novel therapies in the pipeline for these disorders has been contracting. Support for the development of neurotherapies must continue from the bench to their ultimate place at the bedside. Academic medicine must continue to play a critical role, in league with industry and government, in the development of novel neurotherapies desperately needed by an ever-expanding population. Critical steps include the identification and adoption of reliable, valid, and reproducible biomarkers to serve as primary endpoints in clinical trials of neurological disease. Ann Neurol 2013;74:441–446