On the central role of brain connectivity in neurodegenerative disease progression

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Increased brain connectivity, in all its variants, is often considered an evolutionary advantage by mediating complex sensorimotor function and higher cognitive faculties. Interaction among components at all spatial scales, including genes, proteins, neurons, local neuronal circuits and macroscopic brain regions, are indispensable for such vital functions. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that, from the microscopic to the macroscopic levels, such connections might also be a conduit for in intra-brain disease spreading. For instance, cell-to-cell misfolded proteins (MP) transmission and neuronal toxicity are prominent connectivity-mediated factors in aging and neurodegeneration. This article offers an overview of connectivity dysfunctions associated with neurodegeneration, with a specific focus on how these may be central to both normal aging and the neuropathologic degenerative progression.




Iturria-Medina, Y., & Evans, A. C. (2015). On the central role of brain connectivity in neurodegenerative disease progression. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. Frontiers Media S.A. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2015.00090

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