Lipids: An insight into the neurodegenerative disorders

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Brain development is a sequential anatomical process characterised by specific well-defined stages of growth and maturation. One of the fundamental and necessary events in the normal development of the central nervous system in vertebrates is the formation of a myelin sheath. This process is influenced by dietary lipids. A number of researches have indicated that the administration of a diet, deficient in essential fatty acids during development causes hypomyelination in the brain. Brain lipids determine the localization and function of proteins in the cell membrane and in doing so regulate synaptic signalling in neurons. Lipids may also function as transmitters and relay signals from the membrane to intracellular compartments or to other cells. Several experimental studies have suggested a crucial role of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in membrane formation, as well as clinical role of glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, and sphingolipids in the attenuation of depression- and anxiety-related behaviours. Hence it can be assumed that polyunsaturated fatty acids may also offer new treatment options (for example, targeted dietary supplementation or pharmacological interference with lipid-regulating enzymes). These lipids could be exploited for improved prevention and treatment. A very interesting and emerging approach in this direction is through ‘Lipidomics’ which is a relatively recent research field that has been driven by rapid advances in technologies such as mass spectrometry (MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, dual polarisation interferometry and computational methods, coupled with the recognition of the role of lipids in many metabolic diseases such as obesity, atherosclerosis, stroke, hypertension and diabetes.




Shamim, A., Mahmood, T., Ahsan, F., Kumar, A., & Bagga, P. (2018, August 1). Lipids: An insight into the neurodegenerative disorders. Clinical Nutrition Experimental. Elsevier Ltd.

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