Energy metabolism, oxidative stress and neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer's disease

Neil R. Sims

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)


    Both altered energy metabolism and oxidative stress have been proposed to contribute to tissue damage in neurogenerative diseases. Animal models and cell culture studies provide evidence for a role of these processes in several forms of neuronal death. Reductions in the activities of some key mitochondrial enzymes have been found in autopsied brain in Alzheimer's disease. However, results obtained with biopsied brain tissue as well as assessments of metabolic rates for glucose in vivo indicate that a reduced functional capacity of mitochondria is probably not a general feature in the brain in Alzheimer's disease. These studies do not address the possibility that short-lived changes in energy metabolism affecting a small number of cells at any one time could be contributing to cell death. Several findings point to a moderate increase in oxidative damage in those areas of brain which are most severely affected in this disease, probably resulting from an increase in production of reactive oxygen species. Whether this is a contributor to neurodegeneration or a consequence of it remains unresolved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)435-440
    Number of pages6
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


    • Alzheimer's disease
    • Energy metabolism
    • Mitochondria
    • Neurodegeneration
    • Oxidative damage


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