Biochemical Methods to Assess the Coupling of Brain Energy Metabolism in Control and Disease States

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Mitochondrial dysfunction has been increasingly shown as a critical process that makes certain areas of the brain more susceptible not only to neurological disease but also to aging. Quantitative histochemistry is a series of procedures for measuring select metabolites in discrete regions of the brain, as they exist in vivo. The development of this method has been useful in establishing energy imbalance following ischemia but more recently has become useful in studying those processes related to the mitochondria which make the brain more susceptible to a variety of neurological insults. The relatively inexpensive cost to assay a given brain metabolite makes this methodology useful in the interpretation of molecular and biochemical responses in terms of the condition of the tissue following a neurological insult.