Sugar for the Brain: The Role of Glucose in Physiological and Pathological Brain Function

Trends Neurosci. 2013 Oct;36(10):587-97. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2013.07.001. Epub 2013 Aug 20.

Abstract

The mammalian brain depends upon glucose as its main source of energy, and tight regulation of glucose metabolism is critical for brain physiology. Consistent with its critical role for physiological brain function, disruption of normal glucose metabolism as well as its interdependence with cell death pathways forms the pathophysiological basis for many brain disorders. Here, we review recent advances in understanding how glucose metabolism sustains basic brain physiology. We synthesize these findings to form a comprehensive picture of the cooperation required between different systems and cell types, and the specific breakdowns in this cooperation that lead to disease.

Keywords: apoptosis; brain-body axis; glucose metabolism; metabolic brain disease; metabolic coupling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans

Substances

  • Glucose