The purpose of this review is to discuss potential pathways involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, highlighting current pharmacological drug targets in neuronal apoptosis prevention. The incidence of these disorders is expected to rise in the coming years and so finding effective treatments represents a significant challenge for medicine. Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease were both described almost a century ago and are the most important neurodegenerative disorders in the developed world. However, the molecular mechanisms that lead to the development of the neuronal pathology in both diseases are unclear. For this reason, despite substantial research in the area, an effective treatment for these diseases does not yet exist. In the present study we discuss in depth the pathways involved in apoptosis and neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases. We also examine drugs that may have a neuroprotective effect. Inhibition of apoptosis mediated by oxidative stress generation and mitochondrial alteration or by the blockade of NMDA receptors could constitute a suitable therapeutic strategy for Alzheimers disease. A multiple therapy with antioxidants, cell cycle inhibitors, GSK3β inhibitors, and STATINS could, in the future, represent a suitable strategy for delaying the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. This research contributes to the development of new methods in the field of apoptosis inhibitors that could provide the future tools for the treatment of Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: Neuronal cell death, apoptosis, dependent kinases, glutamate receptors, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Neuroprotective drugs
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