Cell Metabolism’s Affect on Alzheimer’s
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – A recent study showed for the first time that the death of neurons during Alzheimer’s disease is partly caused by a disruption in the nerve cells’ metabolism of sugar, fat and calcium. Using mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers studied the interaction between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a process that is necessary for the metabolism of substances like calcium and glucose.
The researchers found that when exposed to even small amounts of amyloid-beta-peptide plaques, nerve cells began transferring more calcium from the ER to the mitochondria because the number of contact points between the two increased. Too much calcium hurts the mitochondria’s ability to supply energy to the cell, and the overall metabolism is affected.
Source: Karolinska Institutet, April 2013