The role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases

J Neurol. 2011 Oct;258(10):1763-74. doi: 10.1007/s00415-011-6104-z. Epub 2011 May 22.


Mitochondria are implicated in several metabolic pathways including cell respiratory processes, apoptosis, and free radical production. Mitochondrial abnormalities have been documented in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Several studies have demonstrated that mitochondrial impairment plays an important role in the pathogenesis of this group of disorders. In this review, we discuss the role of mitochondria in the main neurodegenerative diseases and review the updated knowledge in this field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / pathology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology*