This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Brain Energy

How is energy involved in the pathology of Parkinson's Disease?

Published on September 30, 2011 by Emily Deans, M.D. in Evolutionary Psychiatry

Your brain uses a ton of energy. It's a small organ, maybe 2-5% of your total body weight, but it uses up to 20% of the energy you use in your body. That means for every plate of food, 1/5 of it goes to feed your noggin.

I have a lot more details about brain energetics in a previous post, Your Brain on Ketones. If you don't have a minute to look at that article, the down low is that, for various reasons, a ketogenic diet (very low carb and high fat, or moderately low carb and high medium chain triglyceride, such as coconut oil), seems to allow our mitochondria (the cells' energy factories) to make energy more efficiently. This ability is less important in our muscles (unless you are an elite athlete), but in our brain, which uses a ton of energy and relies on energy-expensive ion gradients to function properly, efficiency is paramount. Never so much as when you are talking about a brain disorder, such as epilepsy, migraines, Alzheimer's, or, as in the case of the paper I'm referencing today, Parkinson's Disease.
Read more

TAGGED: GENETICS, PSYCHIATRY


RELATED CONTENT

Depression Defies the Rush to Find an...

Richard A. Friedman, M.D. - The New... 32 Comments

Depression Defies the Rush to Find an Evolutionary Upside

Hippocampus plays bigger memory role...

- - Med 2 Comments

Human memory has historically defied precise scientific description, its biological functions broadly but imperfectly defined in psychological terms. In a pair of papers published in the November 2 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at the University of California, San Diego report a new methodology that more deeply parses how and where certain types of memories are processed in the brain, and challenges earlier assumptions about the role of the hippocampus.

More clues in the genetics of...

David Cyranoski - naturenews 1 Comments

Tissue-bank shortage: Brain child

Alison Abbott - naturenews 0 Comments

The woman misdiagnosed with...

- - Research Digest - Blogging on... 20 Comments

Social deficits associated with autism,...

- - medicalxpress.com 10 Comments

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have been able to switch on, and then switch off, social-behavior deficits in mice that resemble those seen in people with autism and schizophrenia

MORE

MORE BY EMILY DEANS

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment