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On the road to therapeutics: Biological mechanisms of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease

Relojo, Dennis

This paper has sought to explore and summarise more recent findings on the genetic underpinnings of Parkinson's disease (AD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recent studies have contributed to our understanding of these two devastating diseases. As the most common neurodegenerative disease, AD accounts for about two thirds of cases of dementia – ranging in various studies from 42 to 81 per cent of all dementia – with vascular causes and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Pick's disease and diffuse Lewy-body disease constituting the majority of the remaining cases. Meanwhile, it has been identified that PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, after AD. The cause of PD remains unknown, but epidemiological studies suggest an association with pesticides and other environmental toxins, and biochemical studies implicate a systemic defect in mitochondrial complex. In light of the current findings and issues on PD and AD, this paper highlights the range of therapies available for those afflicted with these diseases.

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