Targeting cellular energy production in neurological disorders.
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The concepts of energy dysregulation and oxidative stress and their complicated interdependence have rapidly evolved to assume primary importance in understanding the pathophysiology of numerous neurological disorders. Therefore, neuroprotective strategies addressing specific bioenergetic defects hold particular promise in the treatment of these conditions (i.e., amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, Friedreich's ataxia, mitochondrial cytopathies and other neuromuscular diseases), all of which, to some extent, share 'the final common pathway' leading to cell death through either necrosis or apoptosis. Compounds such as creatine monohydrate and coenzyme Q(10) offer substantial neuroprotection against ischaemia, trauma, oxidative damage and neurotoxins. Miscellaneous agents, including alpha-lipoic acid, beta-OH-beta-methylbutyrate, riboflavin and nicotinamide, have also been shown to improve various metabolic parameters in brain and/or muscle. This review will highlight the biological function of each of the above mentioned compounds followed by a discussion of their utility in animal models and human neurological disease. The balance of this work will be comprised of discussions on the therapeutic applications of creatine and coenzyme Q(10).
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