Nicole Laurent, LMHC Profile picture
May 24 25 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Central to Alzheimer's pathology is a phenomenon known as brain hypometabolism. Let me explain better what that term means. 🧵 (1/25) #alzheimers #AD #neurotwitter
Brain hypometabolism refers to a state of reduced metabolic activity in the brain, characterized by a decreased uptake and utilization of glucose - the primary #energy source for brain cells. (2/25)
This disastrous metabolic slowdown is not just a mere lack of energy, although that would be devastating enough. It triggers a cascade of effects that impair neuronal function and disrupts communication between #brain cells. (3/25)
Without the ability to utilize #glucose for fuel, #neurons become less efficient at transmitting signals, and their ability to form new connections, essential for #learning and #memory, is compromised. (4/25)
Sustained #hypometabolism can lead to the loss of neurons and a subsequent reduction in brain volume contributing to cognitive decline and the emergence of symptoms associated with conditions like #AlzheimersDisease. (5/25)
Hence, brain hypometabolism represents a key factor in the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative disorders. But let me be very clear in case that last sentence didn't hit home for you. (6/25)
Brain hypometabolism being identified as a primary driving factor in Alzheimer's disease (#AD) is not a matter of debate or contention in the scientific community. (7/25)
Brain imaging studies have consistently shown reduced glucose uptake in certain areas of the Alzheimer's brain. Numerous peer-reviewed studies have linked this diminished metabolic activity to the cognitive decline and memory loss that characterizes Alzheimer's Disease. (8/25)
It's not a hypothetical link or mere correlation; this is a firmly established aspect of the disease's pathology. Hence, brain hypometabolism is not a side effect or an outcome of Alzheimer's; it's a core part of the disease process itself. (9/25)
So obviously, targeting brain hypometabolism emerges as an essential strategy that must be a treatment factor in the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. (10/25)
Yet, startlingly, despite its core role in the disease's progression, brain hypometabolism remains unaddressed by current medications or standard-of-care treatments for Alzheimer's Disease. (11/25)
In AD, hypometabolism is particularly evident in specific regions of the brain that are critical for memory and cognitive functions. Two regions frequently implicated are the parietal lobe and the posterior cingulate cortex. (12/25)
The parietal lobe, located near the back of the brain, is responsible for various tasks, including spatial navigation, attention, and language processing. (13/25)
Parietal lobe impairment can look like getting lost easily, struggling to maintain attention, or having trouble with reading or understanding speech. (14/25)
The posterior cingulate cortex, found in the middle of the brain, plays a vital role in memory retrieval and cognitive control. (15/25)
Dysfunction in th posterior cingulate cortex can contribute to difficulties in recalling information and making decisions, which are common symptoms of AD. (16/25)
But I do not want to give you the impression that it is just a couple of areas of the brain that become hypometabolic in Alzheimer's disease. (17/25)
In #AD, brain hypometabolism isn't confined to a single area; rather, it manifests progressively, affecting various regions over time. (18/25)
While it's true that the parietal lobe and the posterior cingulate cortex are among the earliest and most severely affected, as the disease progresses, other areas of the brain also experience reduced glucose uptake and utilization. (19/25)
Unfortunately, the frontal lobe, the seat of our executive functions like decision-making, problem-solving, and emotional control, also becomes hypometabolic. (20/25)
This metabolic decline in the frontal lobe can lead to behavioral changes, impaired judgment, and difficulties in carrying out routine tasks. But the problem of brain hypometabolism doesn't just stop there. (21/25)
In Alzheimer's Disease, brain hypometabolism insidiously spreads beyond the initially affected areas, gradually engulfing virtually the entire cerebral cortex, the brain's outermost layer tasked with higher-order functions. (22/25)
Of particular significance is the temporal lobe, home to the hippocampus—the brain's memory epicenter. As metabolic activity dwindles in these regions, symptoms associated with Alzheimer's, such as memory loss, become increasingly apparent. (23/25)
The pervasiveness of this metabolic disruption underscores the critical importance of combating this issue head-on. (24/25)
Luckily we have the ketogenic diet—literally a metabolic therapy for the brain. Rescuing brain energy not only as an alternative fuel, but as a powerful modulator of #mitochondria in both their number and function. (25/25) #brainenergy

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More from @KetoCounselor

May 26
Let's break down what this fun article is talking about regarding the sociability of mitochondria! I love me a good paradigm shift first thing in the morning. Don't you?! ☕🌞🧵(1/23)
The article discusses the concept of sociality, or the tendency to form social groups, as a phenomenon that exists across different levels of biological complexity. (2/23)…
All the cool kids do it! From unicellular organisms to multicellular animals. And mitochondria are no exception! But they have been traditionally viewed as individual entities. And finally, they are being fully recognized for their social behavior. (3/23)
Read 23 tweets
May 25
Considering impairment of mitochondrial function is a driver of oxidative stress (OS), it should come as no surprise that oxidative stress is part of what drives the disease process in Alzheimer's disease (AD). 🧵 (1/15)
"Indeed, considerable evidence suggests that OS occurs before the appearance of symptoms in AD and that oxidative damage is detected not only in the vulnerable brain regions but also in peripheral areas." (2/15)…
For those new to this term, oxidative stress describes the imbalance that occurs in our bodies between harmful molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS) and our ability to defend against them. (3/15)
Read 15 tweets
May 19
Aldose reductase (AR) is an enzyme that is part of the polyol pathway responsible for converting glucose to sorbitol, which is fine, until it isn't. Settle in for a thread to learn about the later and what it means for brain health. 🧠 (1/11)
Here is a paper discussing a drug that is an aldose reductase inhibitor, talking about how the inhibition of this pathway helps strengthen the BBB and provides neuroprotective effects. (2/11)…
Here is the thing tho. I don't think you need a drug to give you neuroprotective effects. I think just not injuring yourself with your diet can calm this pathway down and give you those same effects. (3/11)
Read 11 tweets
May 18
This man has inspired me. So you all get an extra thread today. It's time to learn why astrocytes are so cool. (1/11)
Astrocytes are part of the group of cells known as glial cells. The term "glia" comes from the Greek word for "glue," reflecting the supportive role these cells play. (2/11)
They help organize and maintain the neuronal network by guiding neurons during migration, providing a supportive structure for neuronal connections, and regulating extracellular ions and neurotransmitters. (3/11)
Read 12 tweets
May 18
Some of you are using medication to treat MCI and the cognitive decline that is a part of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. (1/11)
And while I would never presume to give you medical advice, I really think you would want to know about a recent study led by Gibson and others. (2/11)
Gibson, G. E., Luchsinger, J. A., Cirio, R., Chen, H., Franchino-Elder, J., Hirsch, J. A., ... & Fonzetti, P. (2020). (3/11)…
Read 11 tweets
May 17
Research indicates that metabolic pathways play a significant role in regulating the aging process of organisms, suggesting that manipulating metabolism can potentially enhance healthspan and lifespan. (1/15)
So much so, that scientists are currently exploring dietary interventions and compounds that can modulate metabolism as potential anti-aging strategies. (2/15)…
One particular focus of metabolic interventions aimed at delaying aging is cellular senescence. (3/15)
Read 15 tweets

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