Parkinson’s disease is a common, adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder whose pathogenesis is still under intense investigation. Substantial evidence from postmortem human brain tissue, genetic- and toxin-induced animal and cellular models indicates that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a central role in the pathophysiology of the disease. This review discusses our current understanding of Parkinson’s disease–related mitochondrial dysfunction, including bioenergetic defects, mitochondrial DNA alterations, altered mitochondrial dynamics, activation of mitochondrial-dependent programmed cell death, and perturbations in mitochondrial tethering to the endoplasmic reticulum. Whether a primary or secondary event, mitochondrial dysfunction holds promise as a potential therapeutic target to halt the progression of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease.
Vall d’Hebron Research Institute–CIBERNED, Barcelona, Spain
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