2002 issue 3

Back

Volume 11, issue 3

Dementias

Mitochondrial DNA mutation as a risk factor of dementia – a new paradigm

Tadeusz Pietras1, Andrzej Witusik1, PAWEŁ GÓRSKI1
1. Pracownia Gerontologii Kliniki Pneumonologii i Alergologii Akademii Medycznej w Łodzi
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2002, 11, 259-269
Keywords: mitochondrial DNA, cytochrome C oxidase, dementia
Abstract

Mitochondria have a pivotal role in cell metabolism, being the major site of ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation. They have a critical role in apoptotic cell death; and they also contribute to human genetics since mitochondria have a functional genome separate from that of nuclear DNA. Recent observations suggest that the accumulation of point mutations of mitochondrial DNA may be important in the pathogenesis of dementia. The increasing formation and release of reactive oxygen species by failed respiratory chain enzymes induces lipid peroxidation process, apoptosis and subsequent cell death, and promotes protein aggregation and accumulation in the central nervous system. These changes induce neurodegeneration of brain and promote progress of dementia.

Address for correspondence:
Adres: Dr Tadeusz Pietras, Pracownia Gerontologii Kliniki Pneumonologii i Alergologii Akademii Medycznej,
ul. Kopcińskiego 22, 90-153 Łódź, te!. (42) 6787505,fax: (42) 6782129