Glial cells and their association with neurones are fundamental for brain function. The emergence of complex neurone-glial networks assures rapid information transfer, creating a sophisticated circuitry where both types of neural cells work in concert, serving divergent activities. All types of glial cells, represented by astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia and NG2-glia, are essential for brain homeostasis and defence. Thus, glia are key not only for normal central nervous system (CNS) function, but also to its dysfunction, being directly associated with all forms of neuropathological processes. Therefore, the progression and outcome of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases depend on glial reactions. In this review, we provide a concise account of recent data obtained from both human material and animal models demonstrating the pathological involvement of glia in neurodegenerative processes, with a major focus on Alzheimer's disease (AD), as well as physiological ageing.
- Alzheimer's disease