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Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Aug 1;27(R2):R108-R118. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy139.

Neurodegenerative diseases have genetic hallmarks of autoinflammatory disease.

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Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
Robinson Research Institute, School of Medicine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


The notion that one common pathogenic pathway could account for the various clinically distinguishable, typically late-onset neurodegenerative diseases might appear unlikely given the plethora of diverse primary causes of neurodegeneration. On the contrary, an autoinflammatory pathogenic mechanism allows diverse genetic and environmental factors to converge into a common chain of causality. Inflammation has long been known to correlate with neurodegeneration. Until recently this relationship was seen as one of consequence rather than cause-with inflammatory cells and events acting to 'clean up the mess' after neurological injury. This explanation is demonstrably inadequate and it is now clear that inflammation is at the very least, rate-limiting for neurodegeneration (and more likely, a principal underlying cause in most if not all neurodegenerative diseases), protective in its initial acute phase, but pernicious in its latter chronic phase.

[Available on 2019-08-01]

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