Artistic rendering of axons and synapses in various stages of degeneration. Injured axons degenerate via a 'self-destruction' program whose mechanism is poorly understood. It has proposed that depletion of survival factors in distal axons triggers the initiation of degeneration. In this issue, Xiong et al describe a mechanism that promotes degeneration by depleting an essential enzyme, Nmnat, from distal axons.

Image provided by Dayna Menken:

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