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Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Dec;26 Suppl 1:94-7. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Inflammation, the complement system and the diseases of aging.

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Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research, University of British Columbia, 2255 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Inflammation is characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases of aging. Neuropathological evidence of activated microglia and activated astrocytes in lesioned areas, combined with epidemiological evidence of sparing of Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in long-term users of anti-inflammatory agents, indicates that inflammation is autodestructive of neurons. Locally produced autodestructive molecules include the membrane attack complex (MAC) of complement and oxygen-free radicals. Stimulation is provided by a variety of inflammatory cytokines. Agents which reduce the intensity of inflammation should have broad spectrum application in degenerative diseases of aging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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