Reducing mitochondrial decay with mitochondrial nutrients to delay and treat cognitive dysfunction, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.Nutr Neurosci 2005; 8(2):67-89NN
Mitochondrial decay due to oxidative damage is a contributor to brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). One type of mitochondrial decay is oxidative modification of key mitochondrial enzymes. Enzyme dysfunction, that is due to poor binding of substrates and coenzymes may be ameliorated by supplementing adequate levels of substrates or coenzyme precursors. Such supplementation with mitochondrial nutrients (mt-nutrients) may be useful to prevent or delay mitochondrial decay, thus prevent or treat AD and PD. In the present review, we survey the literature to identify mt-nutrients that can (1) protect mitochondrial enzymes and/or stimulate enzyme activity by elevating levels of substrates and cofactors; (2) induce phase-2 enzymes to enhance antioxidant defenses; (3) scavenge free radicals and prevent oxidant production in mitochondria, and (4) repair mitochondrial membrane. Then, we discuss the relationships among mt-nutrient deficiency, mitochondrial decay, and cognitive dysfunction, and summarize available evidence suggesting an effect of mt-nutrient supplementation on AD and PD. It appears that greater effects might be obtained by longer-term administration of combinations of mt-nutrients. Thus, optimal doses of combinations of mt-nutrients to delay and repair mitochondrial decay could be a strategy for preventing and treating cognitive dysfunction, including AD and PD.