Today I give you a new way to look at Alzheimer’s Disease, and also something you can DO about it, provided you begin early enough.
The classic assessment of Alzheimer’s typically involves plaque accumulations in the Hippocampus, neocortex, and other brain regions critical for learning and memory… You know this theory as the Amyloid hypothesis, and it points to the accumulation of the sticky protein amyloid beta, as the primary culprit for the development of Alzheimer’s… But this is usually seen in the late stages of the disease. Research is now examining the significant reduction and degradation of mitochondria in hippocampus cells, something that is present long before the arrival of beta amyloid plaque.
Mitochondria are the energy furnaces inside every one of our cells… they convert the food we eat into the universal energy current Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP. The brain naturally requires more energy than most other body parts, so this is where you will find the highest degree of mitochondrial density.
While mitochondrial function naturally declines with age, the steep age-related decline in brain activity is also associated with a lack of mitochondria. It’s well known that the brain requires at least 20% of the body’s total oxygen consumption, and this is driven largely by the brain’s 100 billion neurons… Each of these neurons requires enormous energy to execute their electrical-chemical signaling, and this is why neurons can die even after extremely brief deprivations of oxygen and/or glucose. Mitochondria provide the brain cells energy in the form of ATP, or, Adenosine Triphosphate, the universal energy molecule.
Oxidative stress, which results from a deficiency of the body’s antioxidant defenses, is a major accelerant of mitochondrial degradation as we age. Oxidative stress is also well known to precede the accumulation of amyloid plaque.
Today, I tell you how best to halt this disastrous progressive condition.
ENZYMENTAL Episode 143
Music licensed by http://www.beatsuite.com
Motion graphics by http://www.canva.com
Images by http://www.istockphoto.com
Grateful acknowledgement to the work of Jospeh Caspermeyer: https://neurosciencenews.com/mitochonria-alzheimers-8361/
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