10. Neuroglia in Neurological Diseases

  1. Alexei Verkhratsky1 and
  2. Arthur Butt2

Published Online: 17 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118402061.ch10

Glial Physiology and Pathophysiology

Glial Physiology and Pathophysiology

How to Cite

Verkhratsky, A. and Butt, A. (2013) Neuroglia in Neurological Diseases, in Glial Physiology and Pathophysiology, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118402061.ch10

Author Information

  1. 1

    The University of Manchester, UK

  2. 2

    University of Portsmouth, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 22 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470978528

Online ISBN: 9781118402061



  • alexander disease (AxD);
  • autistic disorders;
  • CNS oedema;
  • ischaemia;
  • metabolic disorders;
  • neuroglia;
  • neurological diseases


Neurological diseases are disorders of the brain, spinal cord and the nerves. Alexander disease (AxD) is the only known example of primary astrogliopathology, being caused by the mutation of astroglia-specific gene. The disruption of blood flow can be caused either by blood vessel rupture or by a restriction of blood supply to the brain or parts of the brain, commonly referred to as brain ischaemia. Astrocytes are the most ischaemia-resistant elements of neural circuits. They are powerful scavengers of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). The chapter focuses on neurodegenerative diseases. Gliomas are tumours of the nervous system that develop from glial cells. Glioma cells can undergo substantial shrinkage, which helps them to attain an elongated shape and thus penetrate into narrow interstitial compartments. The majority of therapeutic approaches currently in clinical use target neurones, but it seems likely that future therapeutic efforts may benefit by a stronger focus on neuroglia.