Etymologically, the word neurodegeneration is composed of the prefix “neuro-,” meaning nerve cells (i.e. neurons), and “degeneration,” which represent, in the case of tissues or organs, a process of destruction. This general term represents any pathological condition primarily affecting neurons, which are the main cell type in the brain. This progressive loss of neurons induces inflammation which drives a vicious circle of degradation of brain cells, which in turn leads to the destruction of key brain areas which is evident is conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Motor Neuron Disease.
Over time, the compounded degeneration of neurons in large areas of the brain leads to the loss of function such as memory, sanity, motion and independence. Such crippling conditions are devastating for patients as well as for their families and friends, and are a huge burden on society – hence the huge unmet need to find long-term solutions and remedies to such debilitating diseases to lessen the burden on patients, carers and healthcare systems alike.