In direct reflection of the vastly improved molecular interrogation techniques available today, we have recently witnessed an explosion of new emerging information concerning the molecular genetics of central nervous system (CNS) diseases, involving both neoplastic and neurodegenerative disorders. This has had immediate diagnostic, prognostic and predictive effects on various CNS diseases. The promise of targeted therapy against newly identified molecules acts only as an added motivation to furthering the study of these disease entities. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the most commonly encountered CNS tumors and neurodegenerative conditions with particular emphasis on the molecular alterations encountered in these entities, their potential applications and possible therapeutic targets.
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