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Nat Med. 2004 Jul;10 Suppl:S2-9.

Molecular pathways to neurodegeneration.

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  • 1Center for Neuroscience & Aging, The Burnham Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The molecular bases underlying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases are gradually being disclosed. One problem that investigators face is distinguishing primary from secondary events. Rare, inherited mutations causing familial forms of these disorders have provided important insights into the molecular networks implicated in disease pathogenesis. Increasing evidence indicates that accumulation of aberrant or misfolded proteins, protofibril formation, ubiquitin-proteasome system dysfunction, excitotoxic insult, oxidative and nitrosative stress, mitochondrial injury, synaptic failure, altered metal homeostasis and failure of axonal and dendritic transport represent unifying events in many slowly progressive neurodegenerative disorders.

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