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Predicting Mitochondrial Dynamic Behavior in Genetically Defined Neurodegenerative Diseases

Mitochondrial dynamics encompass mitochondrial fusion, fission, and movement. Mitochondrial fission and fusion are seemingly ubiquitous, whereas mitochondrial movement is especially important for organelle transport through neuronal axons. This review outlines the roles of different mitochondrial dynamic processes in mitochondrial quantity and quality control, emphasizing their impact on the neurological system in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Friedrich's ataxia, dominant optic atrophy, and Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases. In addition to mechanisms and concepts, the authors explore in detail different technical approaches for measuring mitochondrial dynamic dysfunction in vitro, describe how results from tissue culture studies may be applied to a better understanding of mitochondrial dysdynamism in human neurodegenerative diseases, and suggest how this experimental platform can be used to evaluate candidate therapeutics in different diseases or in individual patients sharing the same clinical diagnosis.

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