The Effect of ATP on the Brain and Memory
In this health video you will learn the effect of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) on the brain and memory.
Raena Morgan: Hi, I’m Raena Morgan with iHealthTube and we’re visiting with Dr. Rapaport. Dr. Rapaport, how does ATP affect aging and memory function?
Dr. Eli Rapaport: Yes, this is a very, very important question. As we have seen before, the causal for aging is the reduction of ATP synthesis in skeletal muscle. So there is essentially a lower level of ATP in the body. When one moves from the age of 35 to the age of 70, there is half of the ATP inside the skeletal muscle—
Raena Morgan: Half?
Dr. Eli Rapaport: Right, half inside the blood. As a matter of fact, the improvement of skeletal muscle function has been the holy grail of the pharmaceutical and natural supplement industry—trying to come up with agents that would reduce the impact of aging. But I’d like to talk a little bit about the effect of ATP on the circulation to the brain—what’s called the cerebral circulation.
Raena Morgan: All right.
Dr. Eli Rapaport: Now there are several agents that ATP stimulates that act in phase of dilation. There is one that is very interesting—that a lot of people are interested in now that is called endothelium derived hyperpolarization factor and this is different from nitric oxide. This is a peptide that is mostly in charge of the stimulation or the dilation of the cerebral arterials; these are the small blood vessels in the brain. Now, it’s a little more fascinating that that because years ago, the first one to look into this was Tom Forrester in St. Louis, and he was looking into the old adage, the old famous adage in Latin it's "Mens sana in corpore sano" which essentially means 'a healthy brain and a healthy body'—
Raena Morgan: A healthy brain and a healthy body.
Dr. Eli Rapaport: What people attribute this to is the release of ATP and adenosine from exercising muscles. ATP and adenosine are also called purines. This has to do with the ability of purines to stimulate blood flow to the brain. It has been shown by Forrester and others, that you need very, very small amounts to stimulate cerebral vasculature.
Raena Morgan: Okay.
Dr. Eli Rapaport: In the brain, the central nervous system, flow equals metabolism. In other words, the increase in blood flow equals the increase in metabolism. An increase in metabolism means an increase in function.
Raena Morgan: Memory function.
Dr. Eli Rapaport: Memory function, cognitive function, all kinds, perception of fatigue for instance, this is another function. So there are a lot of functions, but the major one I agree with you, is the cognitive function.
Raena Morgan: Al right, the cognitive. So the ATP would affect the cognitive function.
Dr. Eli Rapaport: Cognitive function, along with other functions. There are for instance what's called 'Runner's High,' so this is also a perception of lack of fatigue, and there are other functions that are affected, but the major aspect of all this is the stimulation of blood flow to the brain. And flow in the central nervous system equates with metabolism; metabolism is equal to function.
Raena Morgan: Metabolism is equal to function so this lack of fatigue—you wouldn’t sense fatigue is what you’re saying.
Dr. Eli Rapaport: That’s correct, it's a perception. When we age, and the blood vessels lose their agility, they become stiff and there’s nothing but ATP to enhance the circulation, we lose all this.
RM: But we can replace this ATP, can’t we?
Dr. Eli Rapaport: We can replace some of it.
Raena Morgan: Some of it.
Dr. Eli Rapaport: The extracellular one.
Raena Morgan: Good. Good, and thank you Dr. Rapaport, for talking to us about memory function and loss of ATP. We’ll meet again.
The Effect of ATP on the Brain and Memory
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