Mitochondria and Parkinson’s Disease

The third theory of aging covered in my Anti-Aging Firewalls treatise is Mitochondrial DNA Mutation.  Research reported today relates to the relationship of mitochondrial dysfunction to Parkinson’s Disease (PD).  Other new research indicates that taking two substances in the anti-aging firewalls that act on the mitochondria may prove to be a safe and effective strategy for preventing PD. The new research indicates that an inherited form of PD is caused by mutations in the PINK1 gene which is localized to mitochondria. The researchers found that insufficient expression of PINK1 leads to an aberrant calcium overload inside the mitochondria.  The calcium overload in turn results in the production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that interfere with the ability of the mitochondria to transport sugar needed for energy production.  The result can be injury to and death of dopamine-producing neurons leading to Parkinson’s Disease. 

Since excess mitochondrial ROS are involved, it seems plausible that antioxidants that act in the mitochondria might help prevent PD. We have known for a few years from the pioneering work of  Bruce Ames that a combination of alpha-lipoic acid and actyl l-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid act together powerfully in such a capacity.  Many studies have confirmed the power of these two anti-aging firewall substances for brain health when taken together.  “Dietary supplementation of young and aged animals increased the proliferation of intact mitochondria and reduced the density of mitochondria associated with vacuoles and lipofuscin.  Feeding old rats ALCAR and LA significantly reduced the number of severely damaged mitochondria (P = 0.02) and increased the number of intact mitochondria (P < 0.001) in the hippocampus.  These results suggest that feeding ALCAR with LA may ameliorate age-associated mitochondrial ultrastructural decay and are consistent with previous studies showing improved brain function. (ref)”  A research report originated in a Chinese university looks more directly at how these two substances might prevent PD:  Combined R-α–lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine exerts efficient preventative effects in a cellular model of Parkinson’s disease.

About Vince Giuliano

Being a follower, connoisseur, and interpreter of longevity research is my latest career. I have been at this part-time for well over a decade, and in 2007 this became my mainline activity. In earlier reincarnations of my career. I was founding dean of a graduate school and a university professor at the State University of New York, a senior consultant working in a variety of fields at Arthur D. Little, Inc., Chief Scientist and C00 of Mirror Systems, a software company, and an international Internet consultant. I got off the ground with one of the earliest PhD's from Harvard in a field later to become known as computer science. Because there was no academic field of computer science at the time, to get through I had to qualify myself in hard sciences, so my studies focused heavily on quantum physics. In various ways I contributed to the Computer Revolution starting in the 1950s and the Internet Revolution starting in the late 1980s. I am now engaged in doing the same for The Longevity Revolution. I have published something like 200 books and papers as well as over 430 substantive.entries in this blog, and have enjoyed various periods of notoriety. If you do a Google search on Vincent E. Giuliano, most if not all of the entries on the first few pages that come up will be ones relating to me. I have a general writings site at and an extensive site of my art at Please note that I have recently changed my mailbox to
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply