Neurodegeneration and neuroglia: Emphasis on Astroglia in Alzheimer's disease

Alexei Verkhratsky, Vladimir Parpura, José J. Rodríguez

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Neurodegenerative diseases, which affect almost exclusively humans, are chronic disorders that ultimately result in atrophy of the brain and profound cognitive deficit. Neurodegenerative process reflects a profound failure of brain homeostasis. Incidentally, neuroglial cells, being primarily the cells responsible for brain homeostasis and defense, naturally contribute to an overall homeostatic failure underlying neurodegeneration. In this chapter we shall deliver a brief on astroglial contribution to common neurodegenerative disorders and then continue with a detailed account on the pathological potential of astroglia in Alzheimer's disease. Astrocytes undergo complex alterations in Alzheimer's disease, which are represented by region-specific atrophy and asthenia at the early stages and reactivity at the late stages of the disease. These complex changes can be considered as pathologically relevant because they may define the early cognitive deficits and the later neurotoxicity in Alzheimer's disease. Targeting astroglia in neurodegeneration may result in new therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing and delaying the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPathological Potential of Neuroglia
    Subtitle of host publicationPossible New Targets for Medical Intervention
    PublisherSpringer Nature
    Number of pages27
    ISBN (Electronic)9781493909742
    ISBN (Print)1493909738, 9781493909735
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


    • Alzheimer's disease
    • Astrocytes
    • Astrogliosis
    • Homeostatic failure neurodegeneration


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