An emerging theme in neurodegenerative diseases is the aggregation of proteins as inclusions in neural cells. Their presence is a useful tool in the differential diagnosis of the particular illness, although in no instance is the specific role of the inclusions in disease pathogenesis understood at present. However, apart from their role in the disease mechanism, the inclusions themselves may contain important molecular clues as to the mechanism(s) behind the specific inclusion-associated disease. Thus, isolation and analysis of the composition of the inclusions is likely to yield biochemical evidence of the cellular pathways that are involved in the disease process.
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