In addition to ATP synthesis, mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that modulate apoptosis, ferroptosis, and inflammasome activation. Through executing these varied functions, the mitochondria play critical roles in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, and Friedreich ataxia, among others. Impaired mitochondrial biogenesis and abnormal mitochondrial dynamics contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction in these diseases. Additionally, dysfunctional mitochondria play critical roles in signaling for both inflammasome activation and ferroptosis. Therapeutics are being developed to circumvent inflammasome activation and ferroptosis in dysfunctional mitochondria. Targeting these aspects of mitochondrial dysfunction may present viable therapeutic strategies for combating the neurodegenerative diseases. This review aims to summarize the role of the mitochondria in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases and to present current therapeutic approaches that target mitochondrial dysfunction in these diseases.
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