Central Nervous System diseases, including mental and neurodegenerative diseases, constitute a serious medical, economic and social problem. They are amongst the most costly medical conditions and have been estimated to incur health care costs of EUR 386 billion annually in the European Union. Aging of the population and the growing pace of life contribute to an increased occurrence of both mental and neurodegenerative diseases, particularly in developed countries. Despite significant progress in the treatment of these diseases, the available medicines mainly target the symptoms. In the case of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson's disease, currently used drugs are only able to slow the progress of disease. Many schizophrenia patients are treatment-resistant, while others do not take antipsychotics regularly because of their neurological and metabolic side effects. Moreover, antidepressant drugs have a delayed onset of action, meaning that depression and its associated disability and potential risk of suicide will continue for many patients.
In the light of the above, there is an urgent need to develop better treatments for mental and neurodegenerative diseases. This special issue of Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark is thus dedicated to highlighting recent progress in the discovery of active compounds in the CNS. These range from in silico studies to the development of new compounds and their preclinical and clinical evaluation.
Prof. Agnieszka A. Kaczor
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