In the field of science, the 21st century is referred to as the century of brain,” and many researchers have recently been striving to elucidate the last black box for mankind, i.e., the functions of the brain. In the field of clinical medicine, the development of new treatment methods including regenerative medicine and the clarification of pathologies such as stroke, dementia, and brain diseases have become major social issues as the aging of developed society progresses. Furthermore, in the aging of society with a declining birth rate, cerebral trauma, neurological emergencies, and neonatal encephalopathy are major issues.
Recently, we reported the unique SCA cases accompanied by involvement of motor neuron systems. Collaborative research with Kyoto University (professor Akio Koizumi) has revealed the causative gene (spinocerebellar ataxia type 36, nicknamed “Asidan”) in a new disease that has symptoms like those of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinocerebellar degeneration (SCD), which are known intractable neurological diseases. The study found that this novel disease is caused by a hexanucleotide repeat in the NOP56 gene on chromosome 20 expanding to approximately 1,500–2,500 repeats.
Here we will hold the 1st international symposium on Asidan disease in Tomonoura, Fukuyama where Asidan disease were found. We will engage in lively presentations and discussions regarding recent developments accomplished in the field of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Asidan, SCD, ALS and so on.
I am looking forward to the participation of all researchers and strongly hope that through everyone’s cooperation, this meeting succeeds and helps mark our era.

Thank you

1st international symposium on Asidan disease
President Koji Abe
(Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurology, Okayama University Medical School)