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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Nov;1(2):120-9.

Apoptosis in neurodegenerative disorders.

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Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging, Gerontology Research Center, 5,600 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


Neuronal death underlies the symptoms of many human neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, stroke, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The identification of specific genetic and environmental factors responsible for these diseases has bolstered evidence for a shared pathway of neuronal death--apoptosis--involving oxidative stress, perturbed calcium homeostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction and activation of cysteine proteases called caspases. These death cascades are counteracted by survival signals, which suppress oxyradicals and stabilize calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial function. With the identification of mechanisms that either promote or prevent neuronal apoptosis come new approaches for preventing and treating neurodegenerative disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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