Insights into mechanisms of chronic neurodegeneration

Abigail Diack, James Alibhai, Rona Barron, Barry Bradford, Pedro Piccardo, Jean Manson

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and prion diseases are characterised by the accumulation of abnormal conformers of a host encoded protein in the central nervous system. The process leading to neurodegeneration is still poorly defined and thus development of early intervention strategies is challenging. Unique amongst these diseases are Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases, which have the ability to transmit between individuals. The infectious nature of these diseases has permitted in vivo and in vitro modelling of the time course of the disease process in a highly reproducible manner, thus early events can be defined. Recent evidence has demonstrated that the cell-to-cell spread of protein aggregates by a “prion-like mechanism” is common among the protein misfolding diseases. Thus, the TSE models may provide insights into disease mechanisms and testable hypotheses for disease intervention, applicable to a number of these chronic neurodegenerative diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number82
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2016

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