Growth Factors in Parkinson’s Disease

  • Patrick L. McGeer
  • Edith G. McGeer
Part of the Advances in Research on Neurodegeneration book series (ARN, volume 2)


There is currently intense interest in the possible role of neurotrophic factors in neurodegenerative diseases, because deficiencies may play an etiological role and administration may have therapeutic effects (Hefti et al., 1989, 1990). Particular attention has been focused on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), the former because of the importance of nerve growth factor (NGF) in maintaining basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. With regard to PD, the possibility that transplants may be helpful because of the stimulation of neurotrophic activity has been mooted, and NGF has even been tried clinically as a method of promoting the survival of adrenal medulla cells grafted into the basal ganglia (Olson et al, 1991; Silani et al., 1990). In more basic work, a number of identified factors have been shown to promote survival of dopamine neurons in culture or to protect such cultured neurons against neurotoxins such as 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) or MPP+, the active principle of MPTP.


Nerve Growth Factor Substantia Nigra Dopaminergic Neuron Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neuron 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick L. McGeer
  • Edith G. McGeer

There are no affiliations available

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