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Effects of Ketone Bodies on Brain Metabolism and Function in Neurodegenerative Diseases

1
Department of Endocrinology, Bispebjerg University Hospital, 2400 Copenhagen, Denmark
2
Copenhagen Center for Translational Research, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, 2400 Copenhagen, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(22), 8767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228767
Received: 4 November 2020 / Revised: 14 November 2020 / Accepted: 18 November 2020 / Published: 20 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Ketones on Metabolic Function 2.0)
Under normal physiological conditions the brain primarily utilizes glucose for ATP generation. However, in situations where glucose is sparse, e.g., during prolonged fasting, ketone bodies become an important energy source for the brain. The brain’s utilization of ketones seems to depend mainly on the concentration in the blood, thus many dietary approaches such as ketogenic diets, ingestion of ketogenic medium-chain fatty acids or exogenous ketones, facilitate significant changes in the brain’s metabolism. Therefore, these approaches may ameliorate the energy crisis in neurodegenerative diseases, which are characterized by a deterioration of the brain’s glucose metabolism, providing a therapeutic advantage in these diseases. Most clinical studies examining the neuroprotective role of ketone bodies have been conducted in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, where brain imaging studies support the notion of enhancing brain energy metabolism with ketones. Likewise, a few studies show modest functional improvements in patients with Parkinson’s disease and cognitive benefits in patients with—or at risk of—Alzheimer’s disease after ketogenic interventions. Here, we summarize current knowledge on how ketogenic interventions support brain metabolism and discuss the therapeutic role of ketones in neurodegenerative disease, emphasizing clinical data. View Full-Text
Keywords: ketone bodies; neurodegeneration; cognition; cerebral metabolism; ketogenic diet; ketone supplements; astrocytes; SGLT-2 inhibitors ketone bodies; neurodegeneration; cognition; cerebral metabolism; ketogenic diet; ketone supplements; astrocytes; SGLT-2 inhibitors
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jensen, N.J.; Wodschow, H.Z.; Nilsson, M.; Rungby, J. Effects of Ketone Bodies on Brain Metabolism and Function in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 8767. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228767

AMA Style

Jensen NJ, Wodschow HZ, Nilsson M, Rungby J. Effects of Ketone Bodies on Brain Metabolism and Function in Neurodegenerative Diseases. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(22):8767. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228767

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jensen, Nicole J.; Wodschow, Helena Z.; Nilsson, Malin; Rungby, Jørgen. 2020. "Effects of Ketone Bodies on Brain Metabolism and Function in Neurodegenerative Diseases" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 21, no. 22: 8767. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228767

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