Heat Shock Proteins and the Brain: Implications for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Neuroprotection


With the prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases on the rise as average life expectancy increases, the hunt for effective treatments and preventive measures for these disorders is a pressing challenge. Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have been termed 'protein misfolding disorders' that are characterized by the neural accumulation of protein aggregates. Manipulation of the cellular stress response involving the induction of heat shock proteins offers a therapeutic strategy to counter conformational changes in neural proteins that trigger pathogenic cascades resulting in neurodegenerative diseases. Heat shock proteins are protein repair agents that provide a line of defense against misfolded, aggregation-prone proteins. This book reviews current progress on heat shock proteins in the brain and their implications for neurodegenerative diseases, neuroprotection, aging and control of life span. Key laboratories from major universities around the world contribute chapters that review present research activity and project the field into the future.

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