The continuum between neurodegeneration, brain plasticity, and movement: a critical appraisal

Tommaso Schirinzi, Marco Canevelli, Antonio Suppa, Matteo Bologna, Luca Marsili

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


While the "physiological" aging process is associated with declines in motor and cognitive features, these changes do not significantly impair functions and activities of daily living. Differently, motor and cognitive impairment constitute the most common phenotypic expressions of neurodegeneration. Both manifestations frequently coexist in the same disease, thus making difficult to detect "pure" motor or cognitive conditions. Movement disorders are often characterized by cognitive disturbances, and neurodegenerative dementias often exhibit the occurrence of movement disorders. Such a phenotypic overlap suggests approaching these conditions by highlighting the commonalities of entities traditionally considered distinct. In the present review, we critically reappraised the common clinical and pathophysiological aspects of neurodegeneration in both animal models and patients, looking at motricity as a trait d'union over the spectrum of neurodegeneration and focusing on synaptopathy and oscillopathy as the common pathogenic background. Finally, we discussed the possible role of movement as neuroprotective intervention in neurodegenerative conditions, regardless of the etiology. The identification of commonalities is critical to drive future research and develop novel possible disease-modifying interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReviews in the Neurosciences
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 17 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'The continuum between neurodegeneration, brain plasticity, and movement: a critical appraisal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this