Friday, 19 Oct 2018
Business

Absence of glucose in the brain can cause death

He brain is dependent on the glucose supply , absorbs 25% of the total that a person consumes and when it is interrupted by the presence of a clot, or if the blood glucose concentration decreases due to the administration of insulin, selective neuronal death occurs, said Lourdes Massieu Trigo , researcher at the Institute of Cellular Physiology (IFC) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

“It is important that the brain has glucose, because it is the essential fuel for that vital organ can work properly,” said the specialist.

He explained that the organ is energetically very expensive and “although its weight is much less than the total weight of our body, since it represents only 2% and weighs between 1.3 and 1.5 kilograms, it takes advantage of 20% of the total metabolic energy of the body and consumes 25 % of all the glucose we eat. ” Comparing, the energy consumed in the brain is equal to that expended by the muscle of a leg of a marathon runner, he exemplified.

He stressed that the mechanisms that lead to death are not fully known, so that together with his colleagues investigates in the laboratory the contribution of different types of cellular stress (such as oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum) to neuronal death in its different expressions, such as apoptosis (genetically programmed neuronal death process), necrosis (which causes neuronal death due to a massive lesion) and autophagy (process by which cells degrade and recycle, eating themselves ).

He explained that the research uses in vivo models of rats and mice to study insulin-induced hypoglycemia, and in vitro models to investigate the basic mechanisms that occur in the presence of glucose deprivation in cultured neurons of the cortex and hippocampus of the brain.

“Our recent results indicate that both the oxidative stress, triggered by the activation of calcium-dependent systems, and the stress of the endoplasmic reticulum, are put into operation during the absence of glucose and contribute to apoptotic death,” he said.

Another aspect of his research is to know if moderate repeated hypoglycemia induces cognitive alterations and if these are related to different types of cellular stress.

He explained that the brain works all the time; He has no rest or when we sleep. It is a very irrigated organ, which sends and receives signals permanently. Therefore, recommended a balanced diet and, especially to diabetics, do not stop eating for a long time.

The researcher commented that when we have a specific visual stimulus and pay attention, the brain area of ​​the occipital cortex, which receives the visual stimuli, uses more glucose. There is also an increase in cerebral blood flow, because glucose reaches the brain through the blood, because it does not metabolize it.

Another aspect of his research is to know if moderate repeated hypoglycemia induces cognitive alterations and if these are related to different types of cellular stress.

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