Mitochondrial Dysfunction May Be a Cause of Age-Related Cognitive Impairment

The brain relies heavily on mitochondria to produce energy and is made up of mitotic and postmitotic cells that need to closely coordinate their metabolism to maintain essential bodily functions. During aging, damaged mitochondria that produce less ATP and more reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulate. Now, Salk scientists report that mitochondria at dysfunctional synapses fail to meet energetic demand, supplying either too much or too little power and potentially cause age-related cognitive impairment.

The findings are published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience in an article titled, “Violation of the ultrastructural size principle in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex underlies working memory impairment in the aged common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus).”