Can Alzheimer’s Disease Result From Altered Brain Metabolism?


In this series of posts, I’m looking at the various hypotheses about Alzheimer’s Disease which is one of the most common causes of Dementia.

We looked at Small and Duff’s Dual Pathway hypothesis which implicated APOE4. In turn we also looked at some of the papers on APOE4 and brain glucose metabolism. At this point we reach a really interesting question – Can Alzheimer’s Disease result from altered brain metabolism?

In one sense, this is a very open ended question. In another sense, it is a very pertinent question. For a while there has been talk of an alteration of glucose metabolism in the brain in Alzheimer’s Disease.

If we ask this question, it leads to other questions. Does excessive utilisation of energy in the brain over the lifespan predispose to Alzheimer’s Disease? Does underutilisation of energy in the brain over the lifespan predispose to Alzheimer’s Disease? I am not attempting to answer these questions in this post – that’s a pretty big topic.

What I am trying to do is take a step back and see how the discussion is framed. For instance there are other lines of research that look at cognition in aging in relation to calorie intake. It is interesting to see how these lines of research might connect.

One paper I came across is this one by Cunnane and colleagues which is quite interesting.


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Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

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