Disease mechanisms as Subtypes: Mitochondrial and bioenergetic dysfunction

Patricia Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Enrico Zampese, D. James Surmeier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Parkinson disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. Despite its enormous human and societal cost, there is no disease-modifying therapy for PD. This unmet medical need reflects our limited understanding of PD pathogenesis. One of the most important clues comes from the recognition that PD motor symptoms arises from the dysfunction and degeneration of a very select group of neurons in the brain. These neurons have a distinctive set of anatomic and physiologic traits that reflect their role in brain function. These traits elevate mitochondrial stress, potentially making them particularly vulnerable to age, as well as to genetic mutations and environmental toxins linked to PD incidence. In this chapter, the literature supporting this model is outlined, along with gaps in our knowledge base. The translational implications of this hypothesis are then discussed, with a focus on why disease-modification trials have failed to date and what this means for the development of new strategies for altering disease course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • Aging
  • Calcium
  • Mitochondria
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Selective vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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