Autophagy is a cellular digestion process that contributes to cellular homeostasis and adaptation by the elimination of proteins and damaged organelles. Evidence suggests that dysregulation of autophagy plays a role in neurodegenerative diseases, including motor neuron disorders. Herein, we review emerging evidence indicating the roles of autophagy in physiological motor neuron processes and its function in specific compartments. Moreover, we discuss the involvement of autophagy in the pathogenesis of motor neuron diseases, including spinal cord injury and aging, and recent developments that offer promising therapeutic approaches to mitigate effects of dysregulated autophagy in health and disease.
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