Prion-like Mechanisms in the Pathogenesis of Tauopathies and Synucleinopathies
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- Goedert, M., Falcon, B., Clavaguera, F. et al. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep (2014) 14: 495. doi:10.1007/s11910-014-0495-z
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Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, are characterized by the abnormal aggregation of a small number of intracellular proteins, with tau and α-synuclein being the most commonly affected. Until recently, the events leading to aggregate formation were believed to be entirely cell-autonomous, with protein misfolding occurring independently in many cells. It is now believed that protein aggregates form in a small number of brain cells, from which they propagate intercellularly through templated recruitment, reminiscent of the mechanisms by which prions spread through the nervous system.