Many lines of evidence suggest that mitochondria have a central role in ageing-related neurodegenerative diseases. However, despite the evidence of morphological, biochemical and molecular abnormalities in mitochondria in various tissues of patients with neurodegenerative disorders, the question “is mitochondrial dysfunction a necessary step in neurodegeneration?” is still unanswered. In this review, we highlight some of the major neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Huntington's disease) and discuss the role of the mitochondria in the pathogenetic cascade leading to neurodegeneration.

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