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Cell Structure and Signaling Molecules

Age-related protein accumulation in the brain characterizes a range of neurodegenerative diseases, and is know to induce a myriad of deleterious effects on the surrounding neurons and glia. During Alzheimer's disease A-beta peptides have been shown to induce neuronal dysfunction following interaction with cell surface receptors including NDMA R, TNF R and the Receptor for Advanced Glycosylation End-products (RAGE). In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative conditions, markers of neuronal dysfunction include generation of reactive oxygen species, disruption of the cell skeleton, induction of apoptotic cascades and promotion of excitotoxicity.