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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2002 Mar;3(3):237-43.

Modelling neurodegenerative diseases in Drosophila: a fruitful approach?

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Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathy, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Human neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the progressive loss of specific neuronal populations, resulting in substantial disability and early death. The identification of causative single-gene mutations in families with inherited neurodegenerative disorders has facilitated the modelling of these diseases in experimental organisms, including the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. Many neurodegenerative diseases have now been successfully modelled in Drosophila, and genetic analysis is under way in each of these models. Using fruitfly genetics to define the molecular pathways that underlie the neurodegenerative process is likely to improve substantially our understanding of the pathogenesis of the human diseases, and to provide new therapeutic targets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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