Neurological diseases

Many neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s Diseases, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, and Huntington’s Disease share a common feature at the molecular level: they involve not some invasion of a foreign pathogen as in infectious disease or over zealous growth as in cancer, but the very fact that the proteins involved in these diseases cannot assemble — they cannot “fold.”

Moreover, not only do they not fold, but the misfold and these misfolded elements are toxic and lead to the neurodegeneration that is the hallmark of these diseases.  Studying folding and misfolding are two sides of the same coin in a sense, i.e. understanding when nature works well and when it doesn’t.

By MethoxyRoxy (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
By MethoxyRoxy (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons