By Arezou Azarani | December 06, 2016 at 06:59 PM EST | No Comments
There are hundreds of mitochondria per cell. Mitochondia is an organell which produces most of the chemical energy within a cell, necessary for its normal function. This organell carries its own small circular DNA, called mtDNA. mtDNA has limited repair abilities, and therefore the levels of mutant mtDNA increase as we age. When a critical level of mutant mtDNA is reached, cells become nonfunctional and die. This process contributes to aging as well as to degenerative diseases of aging such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and sarcopenia (muscle loss). Researchers are looking into reducing the amount of mutant mtDNA in cells in order to slow or reverse aging.