Human cells with impaired mitochondria expend more energy. While this hypermetabolism enhances a cell's short-term survival, it also dramatically increases the rate at which the cell ages.
A genetic form of frontotemporal dementia is associated with abnormal lipid accumulation in the brain fueled by disrupted cell metabolism. The findings could pave the way for new targeted therapies for FTD.
Two existing medications show promise in the treatment of the deadly childhood cancer, neuroblastoma. Phenformin and AZD3965 exploit the metabolic hunger of the disease to kill cancer cells without inflicting excessive damage to healthy tissue.