Targeting of mitochondrial dysfunction as in aging and glaucoma

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This article examines methods of addressing age related reduction in mitochondrial activity

Neurons depend on their mitochondria for optimum function and become susceptible with age. Mitochondrial function is gradually impaired during aging because more electrons are converted to reactive oxygen species rather than being converted to ATP. Retinal ganglion cell mitochondria are additionally affected in glaucoma because of reduced oxygen delivery. Thus, targeting neuronal mitochondria to enhance their function as in glaucoma and aspects associated with aging provides potential ways of attenuating degenerating diseases. A substance worthy of mention is rapamycin, which affects regulated in development and DNA damage 1 (REDD1), and is known to               enhance mitochondrial function. REDD1 appears to be prominent in retinal ganglion cells. An alternative exciting non-invasive approach is to use red light therapy that enhances mitochondrial function.

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