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Nat Rev Neurol. 2013 May;9(5):277-91. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2013.56. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Progress in gene therapy for neurological disorders.

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1
Section of Pharmacology, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Fossato di Mortara 17-19, 44121 Ferrara, Italy. michele.simonato@ unife.it

Erratum in

  • Nat Rev Neurol. 2013 Jun;9(6):298.

Abstract

Diseases of the nervous system have devastating effects and are widely distributed among the population, being especially prevalent in the elderly. These diseases are often caused by inherited genetic mutations that result in abnormal nervous system development, neurodegeneration, or impaired neuronal function. Other causes of neurological diseases include genetic and epigenetic changes induced by environmental insults, injury, disease-related events or inflammatory processes. Standard medical and surgical practice has not proved effective in curing or treating these diseases, and appropriate pharmaceuticals do not exist or are insufficient to slow disease progression. Gene therapy is emerging as a powerful approach with potential to treat and even cure some of the most common diseases of the nervous system. Gene therapy for neurological diseases has been made possible through progress in understanding the underlying disease mechanisms, particularly those involving sensory neurons, and also by improvement of gene vector design, therapeutic gene selection, and methods of delivery. Progress in the field has renewed our optimism for gene therapy as a treatment modality that can be used by neurologists, ophthalmologists and neurosurgeons. In this Review, we describe the promising gene therapy strategies that have the potential to treat patients with neurological diseases and discuss prospects for future development of gene therapy.

PMID:
23609618
PMCID:
PMC3908892
DOI:
10.1038/nrneurol.2013.56
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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