Brain’s fight against neurodegeneration

  In a neurodegenerative disease (ND) there is a progressive deterioration neuronal populationand loss of brain function. At present, there are no effective cures for neurodegenerative diseases. Since, diagnosis is possible only after manifestation of symptoms, when a large proportion of neurons has been already lost, drug therapies are generally designed for relief rather than cure. Development of cures to halt the disease progressionis difficult due to our poor understanding of the brain architecture.Neurodegenerative diseases cause oxidative stress, cell death, accumulation of protein aggregates, and bioenergetics defects. The plasticity of the brain allows it to employsome neuroprotective responses. These compensatory mechanisms delay the onset of many the neurodegenerative diseases. That is the reason even early onset disorders arise at 25 – 30 years of age. Brain responses against these diseases include reduction of rRNA synthesis, metabolic redesign,autophagy, translational and transcriptional suppression. Only when the brain is unable to compensate the patient shows the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases. A comprehensive understanding of different brain networks can help us not only in designing cures for NDs but also the recovery of some of the lost neurons.


Parlato, R., Mastroberardino, P. G., eds. (2016). Neuronal Self-Defence: Compensatory Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Disorders. Lausanne: Frontiers Media. Doi: 10.3389/978-2-88919-759-0