The Failure of Mitochondria Leads to Neurodegeneration: Do Mitochondria Need A Jump Start?

Author: Lee J, Boo JH, Ryu H.
Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118; Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA.
Conference/Journal: Adv Drug Deliv Rev
Date published: 2009 Aug 26
Other: Word Count: 130

Mitochondria are the power engine generating biochemical energy in the cell. Mitochondrial dysfunction and bioenergy deficiency is closely linked to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Mitochondria play a variety of roles by integrating extracellular signals and executing important intracellular events in neuronal survival and death. In this context, the regulation of mitochondrial function via therapeutic approaches may exert some salutary and neuroprotective mechanisms. Understanding the relationship of mitochondria-dependent pathogenesis may provide important pharmacological utility in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer\'s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington\'s disease and Parkinson\'s disease. Indeed, the modulation of mitochondrial pathways is rapidly emerging as a novel therapeutic target. This review is focused to discuss how mitochondria are involved in neurodegeneration and what therapeutics are available to target mitochondrial pathways.