DNA damage and chronic neuronal degenerations

J Neurol Sci. 1984 Apr;64(1):11-20. doi: 10.1016/0022-510x(84)90051-0.


DNA plays an essential role not only in dividing cells, but also in postmitotic cells such as neurons. Accumulated damage to the nuclear DNA will result in damage to neuronal metabolism. There is suggestive evidence of altered DNA in ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and of deficiency of DNA repair mechanisms in these age-related neuronal degenerations and in Huntington's disease. We suggest that these DNA abnormalities are more likely to be the cause of the diseases, rather than an effect of the disease process.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / etiology
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / metabolism*
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases / etiology
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases / metabolism*
  • Carcinogens / metabolism
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / pharmacology
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • DNA / radiation effects
  • DNA Repair
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism


  • Carcinogens
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • DNA