Translational CNS medicines research

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Translating neuroscience research into new medicines is challenging, largely because of the complexity of the human brain. The critical factors involved in this process are considered, along with the future prospects.

The major imperative of the pharmaceutical industry is to effectively translate insights gained from basic research into new medicines. This task is toughest for CNS disorders. Compared with non-CNS drugs, CNS drugs take longer to get to market and their attrition rate is greater. This is principally because of the complexity of the human brain (the cause of many brain disorders remains unknown), the liability of CNS drugs to cause CNS side effects (which limits their use) and the requirement of CNS medicines to cross the blood–CNS barrier (BCNSB) (which restricts their ability to interact with their CNS target). In this review we consider the factors that are important in translating neuroscience research into CNS medicines.

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