Neurodegenerative Diseases

Big Questions About Small Cells

The term "neurodegeneration" describes a progressive decline and loss of neurons. Depending on which area of the nervous system is affected, neurodegeneration can lead to dementia, trigger movement disorders or massively impair health in other ways. This manifests itself in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), childhood dementia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinocerebellar ataxia and macular degeneration. To date, there are no cures. Current treatments can alleviate disease symptoms but cannot stop, let alone cure, the progression of neurodegeneration.

Among the potential consequences of neurodegeneration is dementia. This impairment of mental abilities as it occurs in Alzheimer's and various other diseases - is a challenge for society in view of the approximately 1.6 million people affected in Germany and a strain on many families, because people with dementia are mostly cared for by relatives. Total societal cost are enormous: according to estimates by DZNE, they amounted to around 83 billion euros for Germany in 2020 - and the numbers are rising. In view of this situation, more effective therapies and better prevention are needed. The potential is considerable: estimates suggest that - through favorable lifestyle habits and measures to counter risk factors - around 40 percent of dementia cases worldwide are preventable or could be delayed.

Other Disease Areas are:

There are approximately 1.4 million cancer patients in Germany – and the number is rising.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases continue to increase and are still the number one cause of death in Germany.


It is estimated that up to 12 million people in Germany could suffer from diabetes by 2040.

Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are among the great medical challenges of our time.

Lung Diseases

Every 4 minutes, a person dies in Germany as a result of lung and respiratory disease.

Mental disorders

Almost one in three people experience a mental illness in the course of a year.