Mitochondria are bilayer sub-cellular organelles that are an integral part of normal cellular physiology. They are responsible for producing the majority of a cell’s ATP, thus supplying energy for a variety of key cellular processes, especially in the brain. Although energy production is a key aspect of mitochondrial metabolism, its role extends far beyond energy production to cell signaling and epigenetic regulation–functions that contribute to cellular proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, migration, and autophagy. Recent research on neurological disorders suggest a major metabolic component in disease pathophysiology, and mitochondria have been shown to be in the center of metabolic dysregulation and possibly disease manifestation. This review will discuss the basic functions of mitochondria and how alterations in mitochondrial activity lead to neurological disease progression.

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Published in Cells, v. 7, issue 12, 229, p. 1-25.

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This study was supported by the University of Kentucky Center for Cancer and Metabolism, National Institute of general medical sciences COBRE program (grant ID: P20 GM121327).