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A new mitochondrial theory of Alzheimer’s deserves serious attention

Atthapon Raksthaput/Shutterstock

HAS the cause of brain degeneration been hiding in plain sight? More than 40 years ago, scientists noticed differences in the mitochondria of people with Alzheimer’s disease. These cellular power stations, which pump out the energy necessary for normal cognitive function, were less abundant in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, and those mitochondria that remained appeared to be misshapen.

Despite these intriguing findings, scientists remained focused on the now infamous amyloid theory of Alzheimer’s, in which cellular debris called plaques and tangles were thought to underlie the condition. However, decades of failed trials have sent researchers back …

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