Platelets, the small, anucleate blood cells that originate from megakaryocytes in the bone marrow, are typically associated with coagulation. However, it is now apparent that platelets are more multifaceted than originally thought, with their function extending beyond their traditional role in hemostasis to acting as important mediators of brain function. In this review, we outline the broad repertoire of platelet function in the central nervous system, focusing on the similarities between platelets and neurons. We also summarize the role that platelets play in the pathophysiology of various neurological diseases, with a particular focus on neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Finally, we highlight the exciting prospect of harnessing the unique features of the platelet proteome and extracellular vesicles, which are rich in neurotrophic, antioxidative, and antiinflammatory factors, for the development of novel neuroprotective and neuroregenerative interventions to treat various neurodegenerative and traumatic pathologies.
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