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Neurodegeneration: pathogenesis and treatment

Edited by Julie YH Chan and Kuei-Sen Hsu

A thematic series in Journal of Biomedical Science

neurological © janiecbros / Getty Images / iStock

Neurodegenerative diseases affect millions of people each year and the incidence is increasing with the aging of our populations. Accordingly, one of the greatest challenges facing neuroscience is the understanding of what causes neurodegenerative diseases and the development of new approaches for treatment and prevention.  Most of the common neurodegenerative diseases are sporadic, but about 10-15% has a direct genetic cause. Knowledge gained from genetic studies has allowed the elucidation of the molecular pathogenesis for neurodegenerative diseases. Recent advancements in the next-generation sequencing technique and its computational analysis have facilitated extensive insights into the molecular pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases.  The areas reviewed in the present thematic series are among those where we have seen some of the most remarkable progress in recent years.  Pao and Tsai describe the role aberrant Cdk5 activity in many neurodegenerative diseases.  Kuo and colleagues discuss the role of non-coding RNAs in Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Chen and colleagues discuss a novel STUB1 frameshift mutation in the development of autosomal dominant spinocerebellar ataxia type 48 (SCA48).  Chang and colleagues propose a new therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases by keeping an adenosine homeostasis.  Tung and colleagues discuss the crucial role of microRNAs in the pathogenesis and treatment of Huntington's disease.  Finally, Lee and colleagues review data from animal and human studies showing the beneficial effects of deep brain stimulation in treating motor and non-motor symptoms in PD.

We hope that this thematic series is a testament to the enormous progress that has been made in understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases and guides development of effective prevention and drug treatment strategies.

  1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devasting neurodegenerative disorder for which no successful therapeutics are available. Valproic acid (VPA), a monocarboxylate derivative, is a known antiepileptic dru...

    Authors: Asmita Gyawali, Sana Latif, Seung-Hye Choi, Seung Jae Hyeon, Hoon Ryu and Young-Sook Kang

    Citation: Journal of Biomedical Science 2022 29:2

    Content type: Research

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  2. Craving for alcohol, in other words powerful desire to drink after withdrawal, is an important contributor to the development and maintenance of alcoholism. Here, we studied the role of GDNF (glial cell line-d...

    Authors: Maryna Koskela, T. Petteri Piepponen, Maria Lindahl, Brandon K. Harvey, Jaan-Olle Andressoo, Vootele Võikar and Mikko Airavaara

    Citation: Journal of Biomedical Science 2021 28:87

    Content type: Research

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  3. Cdk5 is a proline-directed serine/threonine protein kinase that governs a variety of cellular processes in neurons, the dysregulation of which compromises normal brain function. The mechanisms underlying the m...

    Authors: Ping-Chieh Pao and Li-Huei Tsai

    Citation: Journal of Biomedical Science 2021 28:79

    Content type: Review

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  4. In modern societies, with an increase in the older population, age-related neurodegenerative diseases have progressively become greater socioeconomic burdens. To date, despite the tremendous effort devoted to ...

    Authors: Ching-Pang Chang, Kuo-Chen Wu, Chien-Yu Lin and Yijuang Chern

    Citation: Journal of Biomedical Science 2021 28:70

    Content type: Review

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  5. Heterozygous pathogenic variants in STUB1 are implicated in autosomal dominant spinocerebellar ataxia type 48 (SCA48), which is a rare familial ataxia disorder. We investigated the clinical, genetic and functiona...

    Authors: Huan-Yun Chen, Chia-Lang Hsu, Han-Yi Lin, Yung-Feng Lin, Shih-Feng Tsai, Yu-Jung Ho, Ye-Ru Li, Jin-Wu Tsai, Shu-Chun Teng and Chin-Hsien Lin

    Citation: Journal of Biomedical Science 2021 28:65

    Content type: Research

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  6. Huntington’s disease (HD) is one of neurodegenerative diseases, and is defined as a monogenetic disease due to the mutation of Huntingtin gene. This disease affects several cellular functions in neurons, and furt...

    Authors: Chih-Wei Tung, Pin-Yu Huang, Siew Chin Chan, Pei-Hsun Cheng and Shang-Hsun Yang

    Citation: Journal of Biomedical Science 2021 28:59

    Content type: Review

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