Autophagy


#1

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105103631.htm

I have no idea what I am talking about but I read the word 'autophagy' and I know that autophagy is helpfull in PD for clearing misfolded protein. So my question ... could this mix of cancer drugs also help in PD, AD and other neurological diseases ? It seems to cure brain cancers so autophagy is induced in the brain.   


#2

 


You are correct in that autophagy describes processes which clear cells of misfolded and accumulated proteins; these processes are also used to clear cells of damaged mitochondria (the cells' powerhouses), and genes associated with accumulation of misfolded proteins and with mitochondrial dysfunction can be linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as PD and AD. Autophagy pathways are currently being investigated as possible targets for neuroprotective therapies, however, as pointed out by Lynch-Day in a review of the role of autophagy in Parkinsons Disease,  "Autophagy is described as a double-edged sword, because both reduced and excessive autophagy can be detrimental; therefore, simply upregulating autophagy is not a practical course of action, and the application of autophagy-inducing drugs must be undertaken with extreme caution."  So, it is indeed a promising avenue of research, but we need to wait a while for a safe neuroprotective medication that targets these cell-clearance pathways.