Vol. 2, Issue 2, Article 1 Neurographics logo Radaideh, et al.

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Metabolic neuronal derangements secondary to hypoxia
  • The brain is a highly aerobic tissue, with oxygen rather than any other metabolic substrate serving as the limiting substance for energy production.
  • As the oxygen tension within the cell decreases, there is loss of oxidative phosphorylation and decreased generation of ATP in the mitochondria.
  • Intracellular ATP production becomes dependent on anaerobic glycolysis in the cytoplasm. This produces small quantities of ATP not sufficient to maintain cellular metabolism.

Each glucose molecule produces:

  • In aerobic metabolism 36-38 ATP with oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria
  • In anaerobic metabolism in hypoxic conditions 2 ATP and 2 molecules of lactic acid in the cytoplasm

  • The activity of the plasma membrane energy-dependent sodium pump (Na+ , K+ -ATPase) is reduced.
  • Failure of this active transport system causes sodium to accumulate intracellularly with diffusion of potassium out of the cell.
  • The net gain of solute is accompanied by isosmotic gain of water resulting in cellular swelling.



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