For example, current cell and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease are poor – they rely upon overexpressing tau or Aβ, a situation which does not represent disease pathology. The use of data-driven approaches to accurately recreate Alzheimer’s pathology in vitro is a huge opportunity to increase the speed and accuracy of drug development in this area.
Another opportunity involves the interface between neural tissue and the immune system. There is mounting evidence that neuroinflammation can drive synaptic loss following the aggregation of protein. Predicting how this inflammatory response progresses could identify novel therapeutic targets.
These are just a couple of ideas to tackle neurodegeneration. To address these challenges, and investigate new ones, we need scientists with experience in bioinformatics, neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, drug discovery, cell therapy and gene therapy.