A wooden heart shaped like a couple holding hands
| |

Is the quality of energy supply crucial to the effects of Parkinsons and related heart failure?

Following on from the finding that the ability of your brain to harness energy could explain age related mental decline? there is similar evidence that problems with energy provision could be a factor in  Parkinson’s disease and heart failure.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis investigating mouse and fruit fly hearts found that

a protein known as mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) is the long-sought missing link in the chain of events that control mitochondrial quality.

I’m most interested in their explanation of the effects of poor mitochondrial quality

Heart muscle cells and neurons in the brain have huge numbers of mitochondria that must be tightly monitored. If bad mitochondria are allowed to build up, not only do they stop making fuel, they begin consuming it and produce molecules that damage the cell

This finding implies that the effects of Parkinson’s are tied to problems of energy handling. The process of getting energy from one place to another fails or is disrupted. That appears to be crucial in Parkinson’s’ and critical to heart failure.

I hope it makes more sense when put in these terms. Throughout the body, our cells rely on energy to function properly and do their part in keeping us alive and healthy. So, a failure in the energy cycle, which is the production, transport, and use of energy, will inevitably cause problems.

We see the same effects at a different scale in society. When we run out of energy, whether it’s petrol for our cars or electricity for our houses, There are always wider effects and damage to deal with: freezers defrosting, cars not moving, engines being damaged. Why would the body be any different?

Further reading

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.