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Parkinson's disease (PD) and frontotemporal dementia/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FTD/ALS) are insidious and incurable neurodegenerative diseases that represent a significant burden to affected individuals, caregivers, and an ageing population. Both PD and FTD/ALS are defined at post mortem by the presence of protein aggregates and the loss of specific subsets of neurons. We examine here the crucial role of lysosome dysfunction in these diseases and discuss recent evidence for converging mechanisms. This review draws upon multiple lines of evidence from genetic studies, human tissue, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and animal models to argue that lysosomal failure is a primary mechanism of disease, rather than merely reflecting association with protein aggregate end-points. This review provides compelling rationale for targeting lysosomes in future therapeutics for both PD and FTD/ALS.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Neurosci

Publication Date



Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autophagy, frontotemporal dementia, lysosomes