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emilie's picture

Neurodegenerative diseases

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are more then 600 neurologic disorders. Unlike cancer, which is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth, neurodegeneration is characterized by cell death. There is still little known as to what causes the degeneration of neurons. There is ongoing research in this field that is making new discoveries and providing new insights into the underlying causes of these diseases.

In certain neurodegenerative diseases, such as Huntington's, it has been found that an accumulation of clumps of toxic proteins. Dyneins are tiny molecular motors that are responsible for moving proteins around in nerve cells. They are also responsible for getting rid of the toxic proteins in cells. However, as we all know, the development of human body is an extremely complicated process in which many mistakes can be made. Mamy complications arise from mistakes in the genetic information. So if there is a genetic mutation that causes dyneins to be absent or defective, then clumps of the toxic protein causing neurodegenertation will appear and the cell function will then be compromised.



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