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Neurodegenerative disease and adult neurogenesis

Authors

  • Beate Winner,

    1. Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
    2. Junior Research Group III, Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research, Nikolaus-Fiebiger Center for Molecular Medicine, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany
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  • Zacharias Kohl,

    1. Division of Molecular Neurology, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
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  • Fred H. Gage

    1. Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
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F. H. Gage, as above.
E-mail: gage@salk.edu

Abstract

The generation and cell death of newly generated cells have critical roles in brain development and maintenance in the embryonic and adult brain. Alterations in these processes are also seen in neurodegenerative diseases. Genes that are key players in neurodegenerative diseases (α-synuclein, presenilin-1, tau, huntingtin) are also physiologically involved in modulating brain plasticity. Interestingly, in some neurodegenerative diseases, the specific alterations in neurogenic areas such as the dentate gyrus and subventricular zone/olfactory bulb system parallel the early or premotor symptoms that are seen in the early stages of these diseases, such as depression, anxiety or olfactory dysfunction. We will review the modulation of neurogenesis in animal models and human brains of Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

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