Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in Parkinson's disease

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Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a movement disorder that is characterized by the progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta resulting in dopamine deficiency in the striatum. Although majority of the PD cases are sporadic several genetic mutations have also been linked to the disease thus providing new opportunities to study the pathology of the illness. Studies in humans and various animal models of PD reveal that mitochondrial dysfunction might be a defect that occurs early in PD pathogenesis and appears to be a widespread feature in both sporadic and monogenic forms of PD. The general mitochondrial abnormalities linked with the disease include mitochondrial electron transport chain impairment, alterations in mitochondrial morphology and dynamics, mitochondrial DNA mutations and anomaly in calcium homeostasis. Mitochondria are vital organelles with multiple functions and their dysfunction can lead to a decline in energy production, generation of reactive oxygen species and induction of stress-induced apoptosis. In this review, we give an outline of mitochondrial functions that are affected in the pathogenesis of sporadic and familial PD, and hence provide insights that might be valuable for focused future research to exploit possible mitochondrial targets for neuroprotective interventions in PD.

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