Contact: Julia Evangelou Strait
Washington University School of Medicine
Caption: Shin-ichiro Imai, M.D., Ph.D., (left) and Liana Roberts Stein, Ph.D., showed that certain types of brain cells may be critically dependent upon one specific energy source called NAD. NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a molecule that harvests energy from nutrients in food and converts it into a form cells can use. Studying mice, the investigators from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that NAD is important in cells responsible for maintaining the overall structure of the brain and for performing complex cognitive functions. The finding has implications for understanding the cognitive decline seen in aging and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.
Credit: Robert Boston
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