Some interesting research although not new exactly, but yet at the cutting edge if you will for Alzheimer's is in the area of Mitochondrial dysfunction. Inside all human cells including cells in the brain and central nervous system, there are various components, for example, the nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and many other things. In any biology course, even the most basic high school biology courses, one of the first things that is covered is a cell. protein synthesis, genetic coding, and many other things take place inside a cell.
On of the important bodies in the cell is the mitochondria. We are often taught that this is the "powerhouse" of the cell. This is where energy is made basically. The cell need glucose to make energy. The cells take up glucose. The brain needs a lot of glucose. The brain uses a lot of energy. The mitochondria make energy in the form of a chemical called ATP. Its all the basic make-up of life and energy if you will.
Somehow it is seen and felt that fairly early on in Alzheimer's disease, that the mitochondria in cells stop working so well. No one knows exactly why but, it becomes a vicious cycle, perhaps the buildup of amyloid plaque somehow hurts the function of the mitochondria. Bottom line is you get cells not working so well, free radical or oxidative damage and eventually cell death.
It is one more clue one more piece of the puzzle, but something that is defiantly seen in AD.
I watched a short video today of a presentation by Jeffrey Cummings MD out at UCLA. He is one of the biggest names in AD treatment and research over the years.
We will have to see what happens with this area of research, but you will probably be hearing more about it over the next few years.
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