Editors: Akhlaq Farooqui , Tahira Farooqui

Molecular Aspects of Neurodegeneration and Neuroprotection

eBook: US $61 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $140
Printed Copy: US $110
Library License: US $244
ISBN: 978-1-60805-376-6 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-092-5 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2011
DOI: 10.2174/97816080509251110101

Introduction

Neurodegenerative diseases are a complex heterogeneous group of diseases associated with site-specific premature and slow death of certain neuronal populations in brain and spinal cord tissues. For example, in Alzheimer disease, neuronal degeneration occurs in the nucleus basalis, whereas in Parkinson disease, neurons in the substantia nigra die. The most severely affected neurons in Huntington disease are striatal medium spiny neurons. The neuronal populations that are lost in neurodegenerative diseases modulate functions such as controlling movements, processing sensory information, memory, and making decisions. Although, the molecular mechanism of neurodegeneration remains unknown, but excitotoxicity, inflammation, and oxidative stress may contribute to neural cell demise independently or synergistically. The purpose of this E-book is to present readers with cutting edge and comprehensive information on molecular aspects of neurodegenerative diseases and neuroprotection in a manner that is useful not only to students and teachers, but also to researchers and physicians.

Foreword

The brain is an extraordinarily complex organ with remarkable capabilities. It undergoes a programmed plan of development over more than two decades and usually continues ability to undergo plasticity associated with learning throughout a lifetime. However, some congenital diseases, injuries to the head, and age-associated diseases produce profoundly negative impact on cognitive function. Understanding these neurodegenerative diseases and finding preventions/cures for them is an important goal of current research. It is becoming increasingly evident that neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, perturbed Ca2+ homeostasis, and apoptosis are closely associated with the pathogenesis of neurological diseases. This E-book presents up-to-date, cutting edge, and comprehensive information on the molecular aspects of neurodegeneration and neuroprotection in neurological disorders. Neurotraumatic diseases are characterized by acute neuroinflammation and oxidative stress that develop rapidly due to rapid depletion of ATP; sudden loss of ion homeostasis; accumulation of eicosanoids and platelet activating factor; and the release of proinflammatory cytokines. These processes result in rapid cell death that may occur in hours to days. In contrast, in neurodegenerative diseases oxygen and nutrients continue to be available to the nerve cells. ATP levels and ionic homeostasis are maintained at a level compatible with cell viability but not necessarily at optimum level. The interplay between oxidative stress and neuroinflammation occurs at a slow rate, leading to a neurodegenerative process that takes several years to develop. Thus, in neurodegenerative diseases chronic inflammation and oxidative stress linger for years, causing continued small insult to the brain tissue that accumulates over many years and ultimately reaches the threshold of detection many years after the onset of the neurodegenerative diseases.

Editors are known for their work on neurodegeneration and neuroprotection. They have taken great care in selecting topics on which progress has been made recently. They have done a commendable job in putting together this book and in writing the perspective. Chapters within this E-book are characterized by uniformity of style and simple and clear presentations. Topics addressed include the involvement of arachidonic acid derived lipid mediators (eicosanoids) and docosahexaenoic acid-derived lipid mediators (docosanoids) in neurodegeneration and neuroprotection, contribution of platelet activating factor, complement and hypoxic injury in neurodegeneration, biomarkers for oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseases, and involvement of oxidative stress in Parkinson disease and schizophrenia. The subject matter develops logically and progresses smoothly from one topic to another. The book contains extensive bibliography. Useful references will help readers in pursuing those areas of interest that are beyond the scope of this book. To aid comprehension, a large number of figures and line diagrams of signal transduction pathways is presented.

This E-book can be used as supplemental text for a range of neuroscience courses. Clinicians will find this E-book useful for understanding molecular aspects of lipid mediators involved in neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in neurological disorders. It is anticipated that senior neuroscientists may find inspiration from this E-book to overcome problems encountered in their research on lipid mediators associated with neuroinflammation and oxidative stress. Students may gain insight into the difficulties experienced in their research on lipid mediators in brain.

Lane J. Wallace, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor
Division of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy
The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210 USA


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