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Drug News Perspect. 2007 Oct;20(8):501-9.

Cellular pathways leading to neuronal dysfunction and degeneration.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Disease, Massachusetts, USA. akazantsev@partners.org


There is no cure for devastating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's diseases or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which cause longterm suffering and ultimately death. Slowly progressing neurodegenerative diseases affect the lives of many thousands of patients and their families. These disorders are characterized by pathological changes in disease-specific areas of the brain. In each disease, these pathological processes lead to dysfunction and degeneration in distinct subsets of neurons. Research on neurodegenerative disorders has revealed a complex picture of cellular pathology involving abnormalities in biochemical processes, gene regulation, responses to external stimuli, etc. However, despite the differences in the clinical manifestations and selective neuronal vulnerability, on cellular and molecular levels the underlying pathological processes appear similar across different diseases, suggesting common pathways of neurodegeneration. Elucidation of the precise neurodegenerative mechanism(s) is essential for development of effective and safe therapy for these lethal human disorders.

(c) 2007 Prous Science. All rights reserved.

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