The pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases involves altered activity of
proteolytic systems and accumulation of protein aggregates. Autophagy is an intracellular process in which damaged organelles
and long-lived proteins are degraded and recycled for maintaining normal cellular homeostasis. Disruption of
autophagic activity in neurons leads to modify the cellular homeostasis, causing deficient elimination of abnormal and
toxic protein aggregates that promotes cellular stress and death. Therefore, induction of autophagy has been proposed as a
reasonable strategy to help neurons to clear abnormal protein aggregates and survive. This review aims to give an overview
of some of the main modulators of autophagy that are currently being studied as possible alternatives in the search of
therapies that slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, which are incurable to date.
Keywords: Autophagy, Natural substances, Neurodegeneration, Protection.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport