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Front Biosci. 2005 Jan 1;10:552-68. Print 2005 Jan 1.

Brain chemotherapy from the bench to the clinic: targeting neuronal survival with small molecule inhibitors of apoptosis.

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The Molecular and Cell Biology Department, FO 3.1, The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688, USA.


Increasing evidence implicates aberrant apoptosis as a fundamental cause of neurodegenerative diseases. Thus elucidating the underlying causes of neuronal programmed cell death may foster the development of therapeutic interventions. Research in the last 15 years provided a solid foundation for understanding molecular mechanisms of neuronal apoptosis. This review discusses the major molecules and signaling pathways leading to neuronal survival or apoptosis with emphasis on several small molecule inhibitors that target neuronal survival with the hope of impeding the detrimental effects of neurodegenerative diseases.

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