In 1991, a small annual meeting named "International Winter Conference on Neurodegeneration (lWCN)" was established; the aim of this meeting is to review the neurodegenerative disorders and to attempt to explore how progress might be made in this field, as the neurodegenerative disorders have been emerging to be one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in modern societies. The first meeting took place in Seefeld, Austria, in February 1992; the topics for the first IWCN were chosen to provide a broad foundation of clinical science, which included the problem of aging, classification of neurodegenerative disorders and of Alzheimer's dis natural history, pathology, and clinical neurology ease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The fundamental pathology underlying these neurodegenerative disorders is neuronal cell death. For the understanding of pathophysiol ogy and the development of neuroprotective treatment for these dis orders, elucidation of the mechanism of neuronal cell death at the cellular and molecular level is essential. With this concept in mind, the second IWCN was held in Whistler Village in Canada in January 1993. Funding was generously provided by Schering AG, Berlin, and for the excellent organization we have to thank Ms. Ingeborg Runge.