Millions of people in the United States are severely affected by one or another of neurodegenerative disorders of the central nervous system, whether from a disease process such as multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer's disease, or from trauma such as results from spinal cord injury. Available treatments fall far short of providing effective and long-term management. Often there is little treatment other than to provide physical and emotional comfort. The Center for the Study of Neurodegenerative Disorders was established within the Neuroscience Research Institute at UCSB with Cynthia Husted as the Director. The research focus of this Center is to study degeneration of the central nervous system, with an initial focus on multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury and aging.
The purpose of the Center is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of investigators with a common interest in neurodegenerative conditions in order to conduct basic biomedical research into the molecular, cellular and genetic causes underlying their onset. The goal of the Center is to identify causative factors that may be amenable to therapeutic intervention, thereby diminishing and eventually controlling the degenerative events. Interests in therapeutic interventions include complementary and alternative medical approaches. Strategically, investigators in the Center bring a wide range of technologies and intellectual perspectives to bear on these problems, ranging from genetics and cell biology to biochemistry and molecular biology to biophysics and bioengineering. This coordination of very different approaches and perspectives promises to be especially productive.
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