Mitochondria in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis
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  • Release Date: 2024-04-04
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • mitochondria
  • inflammation
  • mitochondrial fission
  • bioenergetics
Video Introduction

This video is adapted from 10.3390/life14020196

How can restoration of mitochondrial function potentially provide a novel therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer's disease?

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell and provide energy in the form of ATP to keep cells alive and functioning. Nerve cells consume a lot of energy and so they need mitochondria to be in tip-top shape and, since nerve cells have long processes called axons, the mitochondria have to be distributed over extraordinary distances. In Alzheimer’s disease, the damage that we see under the microscope and especially the accumulation of misfolded proteins becomes apparent about 20 years after the start of the Alzheimer’s process of nerve destruction. However, the mitochondria malfunction early and glucose metabolism in the brain is disrupted early, leading not only to energy deficits, but to leakage of reactive oxygen species, which are toxic molecules that harm DNA, RNA, proteins, and lipids. Our lab and many others believe that therapies that preserve or restore mitochondrial activity and integrity could be very effective in slowing the course of Alzheimer’s disease by preventing nerve degeneration and thereby preserving memory and cognitive skills. With good mitochondrial energy production comes longer life for the nerve cell, less stress from oxidation of key molecules and maintenance of the synapses where signals pass from one neuron to another. Our complex web of synapses and their constantly evolving connections are critical for thinking and remembering.

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Reiss, A.B. Mitochondria in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 26 May 2024).
Reiss AB. Mitochondria in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed May 26, 2024.
Reiss, Allison B.. "Mitochondria in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis" Encyclopedia, (accessed May 26, 2024).
Reiss, A.B. (2024, April 04). Mitochondria in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis. In Encyclopedia.
Reiss, Allison B.. "Mitochondria in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis." Encyclopedia. Web. 04 April, 2024.
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