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J Neural Transm Suppl. 1997;50:79-88.

Neuronal vulnerability in Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1INSERM U289, Physiopathologic et Pathogenèse des Maladies Neurodégénératives, Hôpital de la Salpëtrière, Paris, France.


Although Parkinson's disease is characterized by a loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra not all dopaminergic neurons degenerate in this disease. This suggests that some specific factors make subpopulations of dopaminergic neurons more susceptible to the disease. Here, we show that the most vulnerable neurons are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress and rise in intracellular calcium concentrations. Because both events seem to occur in Parkinson's disease this may explain why some dopaminergic neurons degenerate and other do not.

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