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PSP Launches Neuroscience Virtual Issue

PSP Launches Neuroscience Virtual Issue

In the early 1950's, Alan Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley published a series of papers on the fundamental mechanism by which membrane currents are generated and travel in neurons. Their mathematical model describing these events quantitatively became universally known as the Hodgkin & Huxley model, which formed the basis for the computational neuroscience field and arguably was one of the first examples of a quantitative biological systems model. 

Despite this head start, the development and application of quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) approaches in neuroscience has been lagging behind most other therapeutic areas, which in part can be explained by the complexity of the pathophysiology of diseases of the central nervous system which resulted in a wide-spread belief that the brain may be "too complex to model." However, in recent years there has been a marked increase in the application of model-based approaches in neuroscience drug discovery and development, as illustrated by PSP's new Neuroscience Virtual Issue. This Virtual Issue includes a Review, a White Paper, and a Tutorial; it also contains state-of-the-art research in areas like Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, peripheral neuropathy, rare diseases, and PBPK.

Indeed, the NIH recently held a workshop entitled “Quantitative Systems Pharmacology and Drug Discovery: Filling the Gaps in Current Models of the R&D Process for Neurotherapeutics.” The workshop addressed the impact of QSP approaches on neuroscience drug discovery, which has been plagued by low rates of success, high drug development costs, and relatively stagnant progress in understanding the basis for complex neurological and mental health disorders. PSP is working with the organizers of the workshop to publish a special issue dedicated to this topic.


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