Aging and the Brain Overview

Age is a major risk factor for most common neurodegenerative diseases, including Mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

While much research has focused on diseases of aging, there are, at the presen time,few informative studies on the molecular biology of the aging brain. Research does suggest that the aging process is associated with several structural, chemical, and functional changes in the brain as well as a host of neurocognitive changes.

Human Brains Age Less than Thought

Older brains may be more similar to younger brains than previously thought.

BBSRC-funded researchers at the University of Cambridge and Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit demonstrate that previously reported changes in the ageing brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) may be due to vascular (or blood vessels) changes, rather than changes in neuronal activity itself.

Human Brain Mapping 2/27/15

Klotho delays aging & improves cognition

Klotho is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the KL gene. Transgenic mice that over express Klotho live longer than wild-type mice.

Klotho is a transmembrane protein that, in addition to other effects, provides some control over the sensitivity of the organism to insulin and appears to be involved in aging and cognition. Dena Dubal, UCSF, says could be ” a very new way to treat diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to Schizoprenia”.

Journal of Neuroscience 2/11/15

Senolytic Drugs Seem To Increase Life Span

Scripps Research, Mayo Clinic Scientists Find New Class of Drugs that Dramatically Increases Healthy Lifespan.

Dasatinib, sold under the trade name Sprycel, eliminated senescent human fat cell progenitors. Quercetin, a natural compound, was more effective against senescent human endothelial cells and mouse bone marrow stem cells. A combination of the two was most effective overall.

Aging Cell 3/2015

Signature of aging in the brain

Until a decade ago, scientific dogma held that the blood-brain barrier prevents blood-borne immune cells from attacking and destroying brain tissue.

Weizmann Institute of Science researchers have found evidence of a unique “signature” that may be the “missing link” between cognitive decline and aging and that may in the future lead to treatments that can slow or reverse cognitive decline in older people, according to Prof. Michal Schwartz of the Department of Neurobiology and Ido Amit of the Department of Immunology.

The $1 Million Race For The Cure To End Aging

The hypothesis is so absurd it seems as though it popped right off the pages of a science-fiction novel.

Some scientists in Palo Alto are offering a $1 million prize to anyone who can end aging. “Based on the rapid rate of biomedical breakthroughs, we believe the question is not if we can crack the aging code, but when will it happen,” says director of the Palo Alto Longevity Prize Keith Powers.

From TechnCruch 9.16.2014
Sarah Buhr

Slowing down the aging process by ‘remote control’

UCLA biologists have identified a gene that can slow the aging process throughout the entire body when activated remotely in key organ systems.

The research, published Sept. 4 in the open-source journal Cell Reports, could have important implications for delaying aging and disease in humans, said David Walker, an associate professor of integrative biology and physiology at UCLA and senior author of the research.

From Sept. 10, 2014

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