Myelin is an insulating material that, when it’s worn away or damaged, decreases nerve function. Damage to myelin is called demyelination. Multiple Sclerosis is the most common demyelinating disease where demyelination occurs in the brain and in the spinal cord.
Demyelination & Energy Production: Role in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis
It is hypothesized that the progressive nature of Multiple Sclerosis is a result of a state of “virtual hypoxia” caused by an increase in energy demand by demyelinated axons and decreased energy production attributed to mitochondrial injury. A large amount of energy produced in the brain, known as ATP, is used by the enzyme Na/K ATPase to restore the resting membrane potential. Myelin insulation of axons in healthy individuals results in decreased energy use to restore the membrane potential since only a portion of the axon is excited. When the axons are demyelinated the entire membrane is involved resulting in the increased use of ATP to pump ions to restore the membrane potential. This results in an increase in energy demand.
Accompanying an increased use in ATP is a decrease in energy production, which is caused by mitochondrial injury in Multiple Sclerosis patients. The mitochondria is responsible for producing a significant amount of ATP through the Kreb’s (TCA) cycle replenishing the ATP stores needed in the CNS.
This mismatch caused by increased energy demand and decreased energy production results in a state of “virtual hypoxia” resulting in primary neurodegeneration. Contact us today with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This article has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.