Transposable Elements: A Common Feature of Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The etiology of most neurological disorders is poorly understood and current treatments are largely ineffective. New ideas and concepts are therefore vitally important for future research in this area. This review explores the concept that dysregulation of transposable elements (TEs) contributes to the appearance and pathology of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Despite TEs making up at least half of the human genome, they are vastly understudied in relation to brain disorders. However, recent advances in sequencing technologies and gene editing approaches are now starting to unravel the pathological role of TEs. Aberrant activation of TEs has been found in many neurological disorders; the resulting pathogenic effects, which include alterations of gene expression, neuroinflammation, and direct neurotoxicity, are starting to be resolved. An increased understanding of the relationship between TEs and pathological processes in the brain improves the potential for novel diagnostics and interventions for brain disorders.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences
  • Neurology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-623
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number8
Early online date2020 Jun 1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 1
Publication categoryResearch