Neurological diseases are the leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to health problems in children and adults. As the majority of these conditions result in lifelong disabilities, the implications for the family and for society is significant.
A significant number of adult and childhood neurological diseases have a genetic component and are caused by changes in our DNA and/or RNA leading to functional changes in the central nervous system. However, for many patients afflicted with these disorders, traditional genetic testing does not identify a clear genetic cause. The goal of this study will be to use newer genetic techniques to evaluate patients and families with neurological disorders to better understand the genetic basis of the disease.
A number of veterans suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS), a devastating and debilitating disease for which there is not cure or significant treatment. The only therapy available is immunomodulatory, but does not treat the neurodegeneration. The studies proposed in this application will develop therapeutic strategies and identify a drug that ameliorates inflammation as well as neurodegeneration in the disease. Thus, the effect of this drug will not only help veterans with MS, but will also benefit individuals with the disease in general.