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Brain Pathol. 2013 May;23(3):350-7. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12046.

α-Synuclein: the long distance runner.

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  • 1Neuronal Survival Unit, Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


Parkinson's disease is characterized by α-synuclein pathology in the form of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. Braak et al described the spatial and temporal spread of α-synuclein pathology in Parkinson's disease. Recent experimental studies have demonstrated that α-synuclein can transfer from cell to cell. In this review, we highlight the involvement of α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease and in Braak's staging of Parkinson's disease pathology. We discuss whether a prion-like mechanism of α-synuclein spread might contribute to Parkinson's disease pathology. We describe recent studies investigating cell-to-cell transfer of α-synuclein and focus our review on the long-distance axonal transport of α-synuclein along neurons.

© 2013 The Authors; Brain Pathology © 2013 International Society of Neuropathology.

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