Aging Gene Research with Professor Alysia Mortimer
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RESEARCH INTERESTS As we age we have an increased risk of developing a number of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), as well as a variety of muscular dystrophies. However, this connection between aging and degenerative disease is not well understood. One common feature of both aging and many degenerative diseases is the presence of oxidative stress, such as superoxide ions, hydroxide ions, and hydrogen peroxide. Oxidative stress can result through exposure to oxidizing agents, such as certain toxins and pesticides, but it is also produced naturally within the body as a byproduct of mitochondrial cellular respiration, a process by which the cell generates energy