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J Neurol Sci. 2010 Dec 15;299(1-2):55-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2010.08.001. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Dementia, stroke and migraine--some common pathological mechanisms.

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Department of Neurology, University of Szeged, H-6725 Szeged, Semmelweis u. 6., Hungary.


Dementia, stroke and migraine are very common neurological disorders affecting a large percentage of the population, and leading to a high degree of disability. Often, adequate therapy is not available. Although the symptoms, the progression and the outcome differ in these disorders, to some extent they may share some common pathophysiological mechanisms. The genetic background, an energy deficit, and excitotoxicity, vascular and thrombotic properties can influence all three disorders, resulting in a neuronal dysfunction, increased cellular vulnerability, neurodegeneration and ultimately cell death. All these cellular events occur in dementias and stroke, moreover recent studies suggest that, besides a dysfunction, neuronal damage may be an issue in migraine too. One of the most central events in the multiple mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of these disorders is a metabolic disturbance of certain brain cells. As mitochondria provide the cells with energy, realization of the importance of these organelles in the aetiopathogenesis of several disorders has emerged in recent years. This review surveys the most important features of the pathogenesis of dementia, stroke and migraine from the aspect of mitochondrial malfunction highlighting some of the considerable connections between these neurological disorders.

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