Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Programmed cell death or apoptosis is a physiologically important process in neurogenesis wherein ∼50% of the neurons apoptose during maturation of the nervous system. However, premature apoptosis and/or aberrations in apoptosis control contribute to the pathogenesis of a variety of neurological disorders including acute brain injury such as trauma, spinal cord injury, ischemic stroke and ischemia/reperfusion as well as chronic disease states such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy, and diabetic neuropathy. The current review will focus on two major topics, namely, the general concepts of our current understanding of the apoptosis death machinery, its mediators and regulation, and the relationship between aberrant apoptosis and genesis of neurodegenerative disorders. This knowledge of apoptosis mechanisms will underpin the basis for development of novel therapeutic strategies and treatment modalities that are directed at control of the neuronal apoptotic death program.