Mitochondrial DNA deletions in Alzheimer's brains: a review

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Mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress have been associated with normal aging and possibly implicated in the etiology of late onset Alzheimer’s disease. DNA deletions, as well as other alterations, can result from oxidative damage to nucleic acids. Many studies in the last two decades have investigated the incidence of mitochondrial DNA deletions in post-mortem brain tissues of late onset Alzheimer’s disease patients as compared to age-matched normal controls. Published studies are not entirely concordant, but their differences might shed light on the heterogeneity of Alzheimer’s disease itself. Our understanding the role that mitochondrial DNA deletions plays in disease progression may provide valuable information that could someday lead to a treatment.