Mitochondria in Neurodegeneration

  • Lezi E 
  • Russell H. SwerdlowEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 942)


Many neurodegenerative diseases demonstrate abnormal mitochondrial morphology and biochemical dysfunction. Alterations are often systemic rather than brain-limited. Mitochondrial dysfunction may arise as a consequence of abnormal mitochondrial DNA, mutated nuclear proteins that interact directly or indirectly with mitochondria, or through unknown causes. In most cases it is unclear where mitochondria sit in relation to the overall disease cascades that ultimately causes neuronal dysfunction and death, and there is still controversy regarding the question of whether mitochondrial dysfunction is a necessary step in neurodegeneration. In this chapter we highlight and catalogue mitochondrial perturbations in some of the major neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Huntington’s disease (HD). We consider data that suggest mitochondria may be critically involved in neurodegenerative disease neurodegeneration cascades.


Cybrid Mitochondria Mitochondrial DNA Neurodegenerative disease 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Neurology, Molecular and Integrative PhysiologyUniversity of Kansas School of MedicineKansas CityUSA

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