In the September issue of the Report on Progress, “Food for Thought: What Fuels Brain Cells?” Pierre J. Magistretti, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chairman of the European Dana Alliance, discusses the energy-consuming process of the brain and how it works.
In recent years, thanks to the development of new imaging technologies
such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (fMRI) and in vivo biochemical
approaches such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), it became apparent
that the brain can use molecules other than glucose to produce energy.
And the use of glucose itself may be more complex than initially thought.
With these techniques it is possible to follow the metabolic fate of
specifically-labeled molecules and identify energy substrates other than
glucose that can provide an alternative fuel to brain cells.
– Blayne Jeffries