Sodium/potassium ATPase is a big name for a speck of a substance you can’t see. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in responsibility as scientists tick off more and more crucial roles. One of its most important jobs is the maintenance of gradients between cells, for which it requires ATP – the energy currency used by the cell that is produced by mitochondria, to find out more about the mitochondria and the role that these Crucial Enzyme's play click here.
Gradients are important to allow cells to “talk” to each other. They do this by either electrical means (ie, nerve impulses) or by the flow of chemicals and other substances. Gradients keep processes in balance and any disruptions have far-reaching and often long-term consequences, including impacting on energy levels.
Scientists now know that activity levels of sodium/potassium ATPase decline with aging, and are reduced in Alzheimer’s Disease, depressive disorders, with stress, and following seizures, low blood sugar levels, or heart attacks. These are all disorders typically associated with low energy levels.
Research into this enzyme is ongoing but it may prove to be a promising target for the treatment of several currently incurable conditions.