Alzheimer's disease

Robert Bradbury bradbury at sftwks.UUCP
Tue Nov 24 16:02:06 EST 1992


In addition to Erik's list of references to AD, one might want to
check out:
  Annals of Neurology (1992) V 32:Supplement
   - this issue is devoted entirely to free radical involvement
     in Parkinson's Disease
  Mutation Research (1992) 275
   - this issue is devoted entirely to metabolic failure due to
     deletions in the mitochondrial genome

PD has clearer links between free radical damage and cell death
because the metabolism of dopamine results in the production of
H2O2.  AD on the other hand appears to be a defect in protein
processing.  One could speculate that a failure in protein
processing results in the accumulation of toxic products leading
to cell death.  Of course high oxygen use causing free radical
damage to proteins and the lower levels of defenses found in AD
patients may help to accelerate the accumulation of proteins
which are not properly recycled.  

All of this is compounded by the fact that we are slowly losing
our mitochondrial genome.  Cells which consume large amounts
of oxygen and have poor defenses against free radicals (neurons)
are likely to suffer an increased rate of deletions to the
mitochondrial genome leading to energy insufficiency and
eventual cell death.

My feelings currently are that both AD and PD are probably a
genetic defect which interferes with the ability of particular
cells to deal with the damages caused by free radicals associated
with their individual biochemical environments.

-- 
Robert Bradbury			uunet!sftwks!bradbury

Death is an imposition on the human race, and no longer acceptable
				Alan Harrington, The Immortalist (1969)




More information about the Ageing mailing list