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Curr Neuropharmacol. 2016;14(3):238-49.

Targeting the Autophagy/Lysosomal Degradation Pathway in Parkinson's Disease.

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Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine "López-Neyra", Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Avda del Conocimiento s/n, 18016 Granada, Spain.


Autophagy is a cellular quality control mechanism crucial for neuronal homeostasis. Defects in autophagy are critically associated with mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease (PD), a common and debilitating neurodegenerative disorder. Autophagic dysfunction in PD can occur at several stages of the autophagy/lysosomal degradative machinery, contributing to the formation of intracellular protein aggregates and eventual neuronal cell death. Therefore, autophagy inducers may comprise a promising new therapeutic approach to combat neurodegeneration in PD. Several currently available FDA-approved drugs have been shown to enhance autophagy, which may allow for their repurposing for use in novel clinical conditions including PD. This review summarizes our current knowledge of deficits in the autophagy/lysosomal degradation pathways associated with PD, and highlight current approaches which target this pathway as possible means towards novel therapeutic strategies.

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