Pharmacological intervention of early neuropathy in neurodegenerative diseases
Extensive studies have reported the significant roles of numerous cellular features and processes in properly maintaining neuronal morphology and function throughout the lifespan of an animal. Any alterations in their homeostasis appear to be strongly associated with neuronal aging and the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases, even before the occurrence of prominent neuronal death. However, until recently, the primary focus of studies regarding many neurodegenerative diseases has been on the massive cell death occurring at the late stages of disease progression. Thus, our understanding on early neuropathy in these diseases remains relatively limited. The complicated nature of various neuropathic features manifested early in neurodegenerative diseases suggests the involvement of a system-wide transcriptional regulation and epigenetic control. Epigenetic alterations and consequent changes in the neuronal transcriptome are now begun to be extensively studied in various neurodegenerative diseases. Upon the catastrophic incident of neuronal death in disease progression, it is utterly difficult to reverse the deleterious defects by pharmacological treatments, and therefore, therapeutics targeting the system-wide transcriptional dysregulation associated with specific early neuropathy is considered a better option. Here, we review our current understanding on the system-wide transcriptional dysregulation that is likely associated with early neuropathy shown in various neurodegenerative diseases and discuss the possible future developments of pharmaceutical therapeutics.