Matter of Life and Death: the Pharmacological Approaches Targeting Apoptosis in Brain Diseases

Author(s): Virve Cavallucci, Marcello D'Amelio

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 17 , Issue 3 , 2011

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Neurodegenerative diseases that include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntingtons disease, Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, stroke, brain trauma and spinal cord injury, are associated with the inappropriate activation of a neuronal cell-suicide program called apoptosis. Given that central nervous system tissue has very limited regenerative capacity it is of extreme importance to limit the damage caused by neuronal death. During the past decade, considerable progress has been made in understanding the process of apoptosis and, significantly, a number of studies have shown that a variety of small molecules can activate or inhibit cell death by acting on crucial checkpoints of apoptosis. Here, we review evidence linking apoptosis to brain diseases and discuss how knowledge of the mechanisms of cell death has led to novel therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: Neurodegenerative diseases, cell death, mitochondria, oxidative stress, anti-apoptotic therapies

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Article Details

Year: 2011
Page: [215 - 229]
Pages: 15
DOI: 10.2174/138161211795049705
Price: $65

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