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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

General aspects of neurodegeneration.

Neurodegenerative diseases are morphologically featured by progressive cell loss in specific vulnerable neuronal populations of the central nervous system, often associated with cytoskeletal protein aggregates forming intracytoplasmic and/or intranuclear inclusions in neurons and/or glial cells. Most neurodegenerative disorders are now classified either according to the hitherto known genetic mechanisms or to the major components of their cellular protein inclusions. The major basic processes inducing neurodegeneration are considered multifactorial ones caused by genetic, environmental, and endogenous factors. They include abnormal protein dynamics with defective protein degradation and aggregation, many of them related to the ubiquitin-proteasomal system, oxidative stress and free radical formation, impaired bioenergetics and mitochondrial dysfunctions, and "neuroinflammatory" processes. These mechanisms that are usually interrelated in complex vitious circles finally leading to programmed cell death cascades are briefly discussed with reference to their pathogenetic role in many, albeit diverse neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer disease, synucleinopathies, tauopathies, and polyglutamine disorders. The impact of protein inclusions on cell dysfunction, activation or prevention of cell death cascades are discussed, but the molecular basis for the underlying disease mechanisms remains to be elucidated.[1]


  1. General aspects of neurodegeneration. Jellinger, K.A. J. Neural Transm. Suppl. (2003) [Pubmed]
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