Neurological diseases have an impact on the sustainability of the health and social system and the large number of persons with disabilities has serious economic and social consequences on their families. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported an increase in neurological diseases in part due to the population ageing and the absence of resolutive therapies and in part to the poor efficacy of preventive measures. The development of knowledge about disease mechanisms and risk factors helped prevent spreading of the infectious diseases of the nervous system, while for most other neurological diseases it is still necessary to obtain new scientific and epidemiological evidence to develop therapies and interventions.
The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS, the National Institute of Health in Italy) promotes research on neurological diseases to deepen knowledge concerning causes and mechanisms of diseases, identify new therapeutic targets, develop procedures for early diagnosis and screening of subjects at risk, and boost development of new therapies and preventive strategies to improve the management and quality of life of neurological patients. In particular, it carries out research on neurodegenerative diseases, neurological conditions with alterations of myelin, and rare neurological diseases to improve diagnosis and knowledge among health-care professionals.
The ISS also transfers scientific knowledge into clinical practice by interacting with institutions, health-care professionals, and patient and family associations.
Le malattie neurologiche hanno un impatto sulla sostenibilità del sistema socio-sanitario e la frequente presenza di disabilità nei soggetti affetti ha gravi conseguenze economiche e sociali per le famiglie.