Mitochondria are organelles that produce energy and participate in normal intracellular signaling. However, they also release free radicals that can impair neural cells and promote disorders of the brain. The main contributing factors in dementia, including aging and proteinopathy, are linked to mitochondrial dysfunction and accumulation of free radicals.
Recent evidence suggests that mitochondrial free radicals act as central drivers of diverse pathogenic processes in dementia. Dr. Orr’s team will investigate the precise roles of mitochondrial free radicals in dementia-linked pathology and new candidate mechanisms underlying the effects of free radicals on neural cells. These studies are expected to uncover new therapeutic approaches and mechanistic insights into brain impairments associated with dementia.