WorldWideScience

Sample records for brain aging deciphering

  1. Aging Brain, Aging Mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selkoe, Dennis J.

    1992-01-01

    Discusses the aging process related to physical changes of the human neural structure involved in learning, memory, and reasoning. Presents evidence that indicates such alterations do not necessarily signal the decline in cognitive function. Vignettes provide images of brain structures involved in learning, memory, and reasoning; hippocampal…

  2. Deciphering the functions and regulation of brain-enriched A-to-I RNA editing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jin Billy; Church, George M

    2013-11-01

    Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, in which genomically encoded adenosine is changed to inosine in RNA, is catalyzed by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR). This fine-tuning mechanism is critical during normal development and diseases, particularly in relation to brain functions. A-to-I RNA editing has also been hypothesized to be a driving force in human brain evolution. A large number of RNA editing sites have recently been identified, mostly as a result of the development of deep sequencing and bioinformatic analyses. Deciphering the functional consequences of RNA editing events is challenging, but emerging genome engineering approaches may expedite new discoveries. To understand how RNA editing is dynamically regulated, it is imperative to construct a spatiotemporal atlas at the species, tissue and cell levels. Future studies will need to identify the cis and trans regulatory factors that drive the selectivity and frequency of RNA editing. We anticipate that recent technological advancements will aid researchers in acquiring a much deeper understanding of the functions and regulation of RNA editing.

  3. Cognition and brain functional aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui-jie LI

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available China has the largest population of elderly adults. Meanwhile, it is one of the countries showing fastest aging speed in the world. Aging processing is always companied with a series of brain structural and functional changes, which result in the decline of processing speed, working memory, long-term memory and executive function, etc. The studies based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI found certain aging effects on brain function activation, spontaneous activity and functional connectivity in old people. However, few studies have explored the brain functional curve during the aging process while most previous studies explored the differences in the brain function between young people and old people. Delineation of the human brain functional aging curve will promote the understanding of brain aging mechanisms and support the normal aging monitoring and early detection of abnormal aging changes. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-6731.2014.03.005

  4. Brain aging and therapeutic interventions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This book brings together most up-to-date information on different aspects of brain aging and on the strategies for intervention and therapy of age-related brain disorders. It includes 18 chapters by leading researchers, and each chapter is a comprehensive and critical review of the topic...

  5. Nutrients, Microglia Aging, and Brain Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Zhou; Yu, Janchun; Zhu, Aiqin; Nakanishi, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    As the life expectancy continues to increase, the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) becomes a big major issue in the world. After cellular activation upon systemic inflammation, microglia, the resident immune cells in the brain, start to release proinflammatory mediators to trigger neuroinflammation. We have found that chronic systemic inflammatory challenges induce differential age-dependent microglial responses, which are in line with the impairment of learning and memory, even in middle-aged animals. We thus raise the concept of "microglia aging." This concept is based on the fact that microglia are the key contributor to the acceleration of cognitive decline, which is the major sign of brain aging. On the other hand, inflammation induces oxidative stress and DNA damage, which leads to the overproduction of reactive oxygen species by the numerous types of cells, including macrophages and microglia. Oxidative stress-damaged cells successively produce larger amounts of inflammatory mediators to promote microglia aging. Nutrients are necessary for maintaining general health, including the health of brain. The intake of antioxidant nutrients reduces both systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation and thus reduces cognitive decline during aging. We herein review our microglia aging concept and discuss systemic inflammation and microglia aging. We propose that a nutritional approach to controlling microglia aging will open a new window for healthy brain aging.

  6. Brain size, sex, and the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jäncke, Lutz; Mérillat, Susan; Liem, Franziskus; Hänggi, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    This study was conducted to examine the statistical influence of brain size on cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar compartmental volumes. This brain size influence was especially studied to delineate interactions with Sex and Age. Here, we studied 856 healthy subjects of which 533 are classified as young and 323 as old. Using an automated segmentation procedure cortical (gray and white matter [GM and WM] including the corpus callosum), cerebellar (GM and WM), and subcortical (thalamus, putamen, pallidum, caudatus, hippocampus, amygdala, and accumbens) volumes were measured and subjected to statistical analyses. These analyses revealed that brain size and age exert substantial statistical influences on nearly all compartmental volumes. Analyzing the raw compartmental volumes replicated the frequently reported Sex differences in compartmental volumes with men showing larger volumes. However, when statistically controlling for brain size Sex differences and Sex × Age interactions practically disappear. Thus, brain size is more important than Sex in explaining interindividual differences in compartmental volumes. The influence of brain size is discussed in the context of an allometric scaling of the compartmental volumes.

  7. Aging, Brain Size, and IQ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigler, Erin D.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Whether cross-sectional rates of decline for brain volume and the Performance Intellectual Quotient of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised were equivalent over the years 16 to 65 was studied with 196 volunteers. Results indicate remarkably similar rates of decline in perceptual-motor functions and aging brain volume loss. (SLD)

  8. Biology of aging brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shankar S

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Normal aging of the nervous system is associated with some degree of decline in a number of cognitive functions. With the present day attempts to increase the life span, understanding the metabolic interactions and various mechanisms involved in normal neuronal aging continues to be a challenge. Loss of neurons is now recognized to be more modest than the initial estimates suggested and the loss only affected some of the specific neuroanatomical areas like hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Individual neurons in addition show reduced size of dendritic and axonal arborization. Neurons have significant homeostatic control of the essential physiological functions like synaptic excitability, gene expression and metabolic regulation. Deviation in these normal events can have severe consequences as observed in aging and neurodegeneration. Based on experimental evidence, the evolution of aging is probably the result of altered metabolic triad: the mitochondria, reactive oxygen species and intracellular calcium homeostasis. Perturbations in the metabolic and functional state of this triad lead to a state of decreased homeostatic reserve, where the aged neurons still could maintain adequate function during normal activity. However, these neurons become vulnerable to the stress of excessive metabolic loads associated with spells of ischemia, trauma progressing to neuronal degeneration. Age-related neuronal dysfunction probably involves a host of subtle changes involving the synapses, receptors, neurotransmitters, cytological alterations, electrical transmission, leading to cognitive dysfunction. An exaggeration of it could be the clinical manifestation of dementia, with intraneuronal accumulation of protein aggregates deranging the metabolic state. This review deals with some of the structural, functional and metabolic features of aging nervous system and discusses briefly the functional consequences.

  9. Aging and functional brain networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tomasi D.; Tomasi, D.; Volkow, N.D.

    2011-07-11

    Aging is associated with changes in human brain anatomy and function and cognitive decline. Recent studies suggest the aging decline of major functional connectivity hubs in the 'default-mode' network (DMN). Aging effects on other networks, however, are largely unknown. We hypothesized that aging would be associated with a decline of short- and long-range functional connectivity density (FCD) hubs in the DMN. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated resting-state data sets corresponding to 913 healthy subjects from a public magnetic resonance imaging database using functional connectivity density mapping (FCDM), a voxelwise and data-driven approach, together with parallel computing. Aging was associated with pronounced long-range FCD decreases in DMN and dorsal attention network (DAN) and with increases in somatosensory and subcortical networks. Aging effects in these networks were stronger for long-range than for short-range FCD and were also detected at the level of the main functional hubs. Females had higher short- and long-range FCD in DMN and lower FCD in the somatosensory network than males, but the gender by age interaction effects were not significant for any of the networks or hubs. These findings suggest that long-range connections may be more vulnerable to aging effects than short-range connections and that, in addition to the DMN, the DAN is also sensitive to aging effects, which could underlie the deterioration of attention processes that occurs with aging.

  10. Brain networks in aging and dementia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hafkemeijer, A.

    2016-01-01

    This thesis describes neuroimaging techniques to investigate brain networks in healthy aging and dementia. Functional and structural brain networks change with healthy and pathological aging, with differences in network degeneration between different types of dementia. These disease-specific network

  11. Brain aging, Alzheimer's disease, and mitochondria

    OpenAIRE

    Swerdlow, Russell H.

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is contentious. One view holds AD results when brain aging surpasses a threshold. The other view postulates AD is not a consequence of brain aging. This review discusses this conundrum from the perspective of different investigative lines that have tried to address it, as well as from the perspective of the mitochondrion, an organelle that appears to play a role in both AD and brain aging. Specific issues addressed include the ...

  12. Deciphering relative timing of fabric development in granitoids with similar absolute ages based on AMS study (Dharwar Craton, South India)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, Sandeep; Rana, Virendra; Mamtani, Manish A.

    2017-01-01

    Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility (AMS) data are presented from the Koppal Granitoid (Dharwar Craton, South India) that has U-Pb zircon age of 2528 ± 9 Ma. The magnetic fabric is oriented in NNE-SSW direction. This is parallel to the planar structures that developed during regional D3 deformation, but oblique to the NNW-SSE oriented magnetic foliation as well as field foliation (D1/D2 deformation) recorded in the country rock Peninsular Gneiss. Variation in the intensity of fabric within the granitoid is mapped. It is inferred that the emplacement of Koppal Granitoid took place by ballooning and fabric development within the pluton was syntectonic with regional D3. These results are compared with the time-relationship between emplacement/fabric development and regional deformation reported from the Mulgund Granite (2555 ± 6 Ma; U-Pb zircon), which is also located in the Dharwar Craton and is equivalent to the Koppal Granitoid in age. This granite is known to have emplaced syntectonically with regional D1/D2 deformation, and is thus not related to the same deformation event as the Koppal Granitoid, despite their similar absolute ages. It is argued that in the study area, D3 is ≤2537 Ma, while D1/D2 is ≥2549 Ma in age. Thus, this study highlights the use of AMS in (a) deciphering the relative timing of regional deformation and emplacement of granitoids of equivalent age and (b) constraining the timing of regional superposed deformation events.

  13. Staying Socially Active Nourishes the Aging Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... fullstory_163679.html Staying Socially Active Nourishes the Aging Brain Researchers suggest making friends of all ages ... and Human Services. More Health News on: Healthy Aging Recent Health News Related MedlinePlus Health Topics Healthy ...

  14. Redox proteomics and the dynamic molecular landscape of the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perluigi, Marzia; Swomley, Aaron M; Butterfield, D Allan

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that the risk to develop neurodegenerative disorders increases with chronological aging. Accumulating studies contributed to characterize the age-dependent changes either at gene and protein expression level which, taken together, show that aging of the human brain results from the combination of the normal decline of multiple biological functions with environmental factors that contribute to defining disease risk of late-life brain disorders. Finding the "way out" of the labyrinth of such complex molecular interactions may help to fill the gap between "normal" brain aging and development of age-dependent diseases. To this purpose, proteomics studies are a powerful tool to better understand where to set the boundary line of healthy aging and age-related disease by analyzing the variation of protein expression levels and the major post translational modifications that determine "protein" physio/pathological fate. Increasing attention has been focused on oxidative modifications due to the crucial role of oxidative stress in aging, in addition to the fact that this type of modification is irreversible and may alter protein function. Redox proteomics studies contributed to decipher the complexity of brain aging by identifying the proteins that were increasingly oxidized and eventually dysfunctional as a function of age. The purpose of this review is to summarize the most important findings obtained by applying proteomics approaches to murine models of aging with also a brief overview of some human studies, in particular those related to dementia.

  15. Cellular senescence and the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinta, Shankar J; Woods, Georgia; Rane, Anand; Demaria, Marco; Campisi, Judith; Andersen, Julie K

    2015-08-01

    Cellular senescence is a potent anti-cancer mechanism that arrests the proliferation of mitotically competent cells to prevent malignant transformation. Senescent cells accumulate with age in a variety of human and mouse tissues where they express a complex 'senescence-associated secretory phenotype' (SASP). The SASP includes many pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, growth factors and proteases that have the potential to cause or exacerbate age-related pathology, both degenerative and hyperplastic. While cellular senescence in peripheral tissues has recently been linked to a number of age-related pathologies, its involvement in brain aging is just beginning to be explored. Recent data generated by several laboratories suggest that both aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by an increase in SASP-expressing senescent cells of non-neuronal origin in the brain. Moreover, this increase correlates with neurodegeneration. Senescent cells in the brain could therefore constitute novel therapeutic targets for treating age-related neuropathologies.

  16. Structural imaging measures of brain aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockhart, Samuel N; DeCarli, Charles

    2014-09-01

    During the course of normal aging, biological changes occur in the brain that are associated with changes in cognitive ability. This review presents data from neuroimaging studies of primarily "normal" or healthy brain aging. As such, we focus on research in unimpaired or nondemented older adults, but also include findings from lifespan studies that include younger and middle aged individuals as well as from populations with prodromal or clinically symptomatic disease such as cerebrovascular or Alzheimer's disease. This review predominantly addresses structural MRI biomarkers, such as volumetric or thickness measures from anatomical images, and measures of white matter injury and integrity respectively from FLAIR or DTI, and includes complementary data from PET and cognitive or clinical testing as appropriate. The findings reveal highly consistent age-related differences in brain structure, particularly frontal lobe and medial temporal regions that are also accompanied by age-related differences in frontal and medial temporal lobe mediated cognitive abilities. Newer findings also suggest that degeneration of specific white matter tracts such as those passing through the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum may also be related to age-related differences in cognitive performance. Interpretation of these findings, however, must be tempered by the fact that comorbid diseases such as cerebrovascular and Alzheimer's disease also increase in prevalence with advancing age. As such, this review discusses challenges related to interpretation of current theories of cognitive aging in light of the common occurrence of these later-life diseases. Understanding the differences between "Normal" and "Healthy" brain aging and identifying potential modifiable risk factors for brain aging is critical to inform potential treatments to stall or reverse the effects of brain aging and possibly extend cognitive health for our aging society.

  17. Antioxidative defense mechanisms in the aging brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jovanović Zorica

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aging is an extremely complex, multifactorial process that is characterized by a gradual and continuous loss of physiological functions and responses, particularly marked in the brain. A common hallmark in aging and age-related diseases is an increase in oxidative stress and the failure of antioxidant defense systems. Current knowledge indicates that the level of glutathione progressively declines during aging. Because nerve cells are the longest-living cells that exhibit a high consumption rate of oxygen throughout an individual’s lifetime, the brain may be especially vulnerable to oxidative damage and this vulnerability increases during aging. In addition, the brain contains high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids and transition metals and low antioxidative defense mechanisms. Although aging is an inevitable event, a growing volume of data confirms that antioxidant supplementation in combination with symptomatic drug treatments reduces oxidative stress and improves cognitive function in aging and age-related diseases. The present review discusses the neuroprotective effects of antioxidants in the aging brain.

  18. Aging and brain rejuvenation as systemic events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard, Jill; Villeda, Saul A

    2015-01-01

    The effects of aging were traditionally thought to be immutable, particularly evident in the loss of plasticity and cognitive abilities occurring in the aged central nervous system (CNS). However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that extrinsic systemic manipulations such as exercise, caloric restriction, and changing blood composition by heterochronic parabiosis or young plasma administration can partially counteract this age-related loss of plasticity in the aged brain. In this review, we discuss the process of aging and rejuvenation as systemic events. We summarize genetic studies that demonstrate a surprising level of malleability in organismal lifespan, and highlight the potential for systemic manipulations to functionally reverse the effects of aging in the CNS. Based on mounting evidence, we propose that rejuvenating effects of systemic manipulations are mediated, in part, by blood-borne 'pro-youthful' factors. Thus, systemic manipulations promoting a younger blood composition provide effective strategies to rejuvenate the aged brain. As a consequence, we can now consider reactivating latent plasticity dormant in the aged CNS as a means to rejuvenate regenerative, synaptic, and cognitive functions late in life, with potential implications even for extending lifespan. We review evidence of brain rejuvenation focusing on several systemic manipulations - exercise, caloric restriction, heterochronic parabiosis, and young plasma administration - and their ability to restore regenerative capacity, synaptic plasticity, and cognitive function in the brain.

  19. Cardiovascular and hemodynamic contribution to brain aging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sabayan, Behnam

    2014-01-01

    In summary, chapter 1 of this thesis provides a background on the demographic, biologic and cardiovascular aspects of brain aging. Chapter 2 shows that higher blood pressure is associated with lower cognitive decline in very old age. Findings of Chapter 3 indicate that higher blood pressure is assoc

  20. Cognitive functioning of the aging brain

    OpenAIRE

    Tam, Man-kin, Helena; 譚敏堅

    2013-01-01

    This thesis contains two studies which examined the cognitive functioning of the aging brain. Specifically, age-related changes in processing speed and its remediation via cognitive training were studied. In study 1, younger adults (n = 34) and older adults (n = 39) were recruited to investigate the age-related differences in the relationships between processing speed and general cognitive status (GCS). Their performance in GCS (as measured by The Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Hong Kong Vers...

  1. Susceptibility to calcium dysregulation during brain aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashok Kumar

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Calcium (Ca2+ is a highly versatile intracellular signaling molecule that is essential for regulating a variety of cellular and physiological processes ranging from fertilization to programmed cell death. Research has provided ample evidence that brain aging is associated with altered Ca2+ homeostasis. Much of the work has focused on the hippocampus, a brain region critically involved in learning and memory, which is particularly susceptible to dysfunction during senescence. The current review takes a broader perspective, assessing age-related changes in Ca2+ sources, Ca2+ sequestration, and Ca2+ binding proteins throughout the nervous system. The nature of altered Ca2+ homeostasis is cell specific and may represent a deficit or a compensatory mechanism, producing complex patterns of impaired cellular function. Incorporating the knowledge of the complexity of age-related alterations in Ca2+ homeostasis will positively shape the development of highly effective therapeutics to treat brain disorders.

  2. Light-sensitive brain pathways and aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daneault, V; Dumont, M; Massé, É; Vandewalle, G; Carrier, J

    2016-03-15

    Notwithstanding its effects on the classical visual system allowing image formation, light acts upon several non-image-forming (NIF) functions including body temperature, hormonal secretions, sleep-wake cycle, alertness, and cognitive performance. Studies have shown that NIF functions are maximally sensitive to blue wavelengths (460-480 nm), in comparison to longer light wavelengths. Higher blue light sensitivity has been reported for melatonin suppression, pupillary constriction, vigilance, and performance improvement but also for modulation of cognitive brain functions. Studies investigating acute stimulating effects of light on brain activity during the execution of cognitive tasks have suggested that brain activations progress from subcortical regions involved in alertness, such as the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the brainstem, before reaching cortical regions associated with the ongoing task. In the course of aging, lower blue light sensitivity of some NIF functions has been reported. Here, we first describe neural pathways underlying effects of light on NIF functions and we discuss eye and cerebral mechanisms associated with aging which may affect NIF light sensitivity. Thereafter, we report results of investigations on pupillary constriction and cognitive brain sensitivity to light in the course of aging. Whereas the impact of light on cognitive brain responses appears to decrease substantially, pupillary constriction seems to remain more intact over the lifespan. Altogether, these results demonstrate that aging research should take into account the diversity of the pathways underlying the effects of light on specific NIF functions which may explain their differences in light sensitivity.

  3. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

    Theories on the development of delirium are complementary rather than competing and they may relate to each other. Here, we highlight that similar alterations in functional brain connectivity underlie both the observed age-related deficits and episodes of delirium. The default mode network (DMN) is a group of brain regions showing a greater level of activity at rest than during attention-based tasks. These regions include the posteromedial-anteromedial cortices and temporoparietal junctions. Evidence suggests that awareness is subserved through higher order neurons associated with the DMN. By using functional MRI disruption of DMN, connectivity and weaker task-induced deactivations of these regions are observed both in age-related cognitive impairment and during episodes of delirium. We can assume that an acute up-regulation of inhibitory tone within the brain acts to further disrupt network connectivity in vulnerable patients, who are predisposed by a reduced baseline connectivity, and triggers the delirium.

  4. Brain plasticity, memory, and aging: a discussion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennett, E.L.; Rosenzweig, M.R.

    1977-12-01

    It is generally assumed that memory faculties decline with age. A discussion of the relationship of memory and aging and the possibility of retarding the potential decline is hampered by the fact that no satisfactory explanation of memory is available in either molecular or anatomical terms. However, this lack of description of memory does not mean that there is a lack of suggested mechanisms for long-term memory storage. Present theories of memory usually include first, neurophysiological or electrical events, followed by a series of chemical events which ultimately lead to long-lasting anatomical changes in the brain. Evidence is increasing for the biochemical and anatomical plasticity of the nervous system and its importance in the normal functioning of the brain. Modification of this plasticity may be an important factor in senescence. This discussion reports experiments which indicate that protein synthesis and anatomical changes may be involved in long-term memory storage. Environmental influences can produce quantitative differences in brain anatomy and in behavior. In experimental animals, enriched environments lead to more complex anatomical patterns than do colony or impoverished environments. This raises fundamental questions about the adequacy of the isolated animal which is frequently being used as a model for aging research. A more important applied question is the role of social and intellectual stimulation in influencing aging of the human brain.

  5. Two hands, one brain, and aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maes, Celine; Gooijers, Jolien; Orban de Xivry, Jean-Jacques; Swinnen, Stephan P; Boisgontier, Matthieu P

    2017-02-08

    Many activities of daily living require moving both hands in an organized manner in space and time. Therefore, understanding the impact of aging on bimanual coordination is essential for prolonging functional independence and well-being in older adults. Here we investigated the behavioral and neural determinants of bimanual coordination in aging. The studies surveyed in this review reveal that aging is associated with cortical hyper-activity (but also subcortical hypo-activity) during performance of bimanual tasks. In addition to changes in activation in local areas, the interaction between distributed brain areas also exhibits age-related effects, i.e., functional connectivity is increased in the resting brain as well as during task performance. The mechanisms and triggers underlying these functional activation and connectivity changes remain to be investigated. This requires further research investment into the detailed study of interactions between brain structure, function and connectivity. This will also provide the foundation for interventional research programs towards preservation of brain health and behavioral performance by maximizing neuroplasticity potential in older adults.

  6. Microglia priming in the aging brain : Implications for neurodegeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Darwin Arulseeli, Divya; Biber, Knut

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of the thesis “Microglia priming in the aging brain: Implications for neurodegeneration” was to understand microglia phenotypes associated with brain aging and the potential mechanisms for this age-associated change. Microglia in the aging brain assume a hypersensitive proinflammator

  7. Poststroke Cell Therapy of the Aged Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurel Popa-Wagner

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available During aging, many neurodegenerative disorders are associated with reduced neurogenesis and a decline in the proliferation of stem/progenitor cells. The development of the stem cell (SC, the regenerative therapy field, gained tremendous expectations in the diseases that suffer from the lack of treatment options. Stem cell based therapy is a promising approach to promote neuroregeneration after brain injury and can be potentiated when combined with supportive pharmacological drug treatment, especially in the aged. However, the mechanism of action for a particular grafted cell type, the optimal delivery route, doses, or time window of administration after lesion is still under debate. Today, it is proved that these protections are most likely due to modulatory mechanisms rather than the expected cell replacement. Our group proved that important differences appear in the aged brain compared with young one, that is, the accelerated progression of ischemic area, or the delayed initiation of neurological recovery. In this light, these age-related aspects should be carefully evaluated in the clinical translation of neurorestorative therapies. This review is focused on the current perspectives and suitable sources of stem cells (SCs, mechanisms of action, and the most efficient delivery routes in neurorestoration therapies in the poststroke aged environment.

  8. The emotion paradox in the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mather, Mara

    2012-03-01

    This paper reviews age differences in emotion processing and how they may relate to age-related changes in the brain. Compared with younger adults, older adults react less to negative situations, ignore irrelevant negative stimuli better, and remember relatively more positive than negative information. Older adults' ability to insulate their thoughts and emotional reactions from negative situations is likely due to a number of factors, such as being less influenced by interoceptive cues, selecting different emotion regulation strategies, having less age-related decline in prefrontal regions associated with emotional control than in other prefrontal regions, and engaging in emotion regulation strategies as a default mode in their everyday lives. Healthy older adults' avoidance of processing negative stimuli may contribute to their well-maintained emotional well-being. However, when cardiovascular disease leads to additional prefrontal white matter damage, older adults have fewer cognitive control mechanisms available to regulate their emotions, making them more vulnerable to depression. In general, although age-related changes in the brain help shape emotional experience, shifts in preferred strategies and goal priorities are also important influences.

  9. Increased brain-predicted aging in treated HIV disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underwood, Jonathan; Caan, Matthan W.A.; De Francesco, Davide; van Zoest, Rosan A.; Leech, Robert; Wit, Ferdinand W.N.M.; Portegies, Peter; Geurtsen, Gert J.; Schmand, Ben A.; Schim van der Loeff, Maarten F.; Franceschi, Claudio; Sabin, Caroline A.; Majoie, Charles B.L.M.; Winston, Alan; Reiss, Peter; Sharp, David J.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To establish whether HIV disease is associated with abnormal levels of age-related brain atrophy, by estimating apparent brain age using neuroimaging and exploring whether these estimates related to HIV status, age, cognitive performance, and HIV-related clinical parameters. Methods: A large sample of virologically suppressed HIV-positive adults (n = 162, age 45–82 years) and highly comparable HIV-negative controls (n = 105) were recruited as part of the Comorbidity in Relation to AIDS (COBRA) collaboration. Using T1-weighted MRI scans, a machine-learning model of healthy brain aging was defined in an independent cohort (n = 2,001, aged 18–90 years). Neuroimaging data from HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals were then used to estimate brain-predicted age; then brain-predicted age difference (brain-PAD = brain-predicted brain age − chronological age) scores were calculated. Neuropsychological and clinical assessments were also carried out. Results: HIV-positive individuals had greater brain-PAD score (mean ± SD 2.15 ± 7.79 years) compared to HIV-negative individuals (−0.87 ± 8.40 years; b = 3.48, p < 0.01). Increased brain-PAD score was associated with decreased performance in multiple cognitive domains (information processing speed, executive function, memory) and general cognitive performance across all participants. Brain-PAD score was not associated with age, duration of HIV infection, or other HIV-related measures. Conclusion: Increased apparent brain aging, predicted using neuroimaging, was observed in HIV-positive adults, despite effective viral suppression. Furthermore, the magnitude of increased apparent brain aging related to cognitive deficits. However, predicted brain age difference did not correlate with chronological age or duration of HIV infection, suggesting that HIV disease may accentuate rather than accelerate brain aging. PMID:28258081

  10. Brain Aging in the Oldest-Old

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. von Gunten

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Nonagenarians and centenarians represent a quickly growing age group worldwide. In parallel, the prevalence of dementia increases substantially, but how to define dementia in this oldest-old age segment remains unclear. Although the idea that the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD decreases after age 90 has now been questioned, the oldest-old still represent a population relatively resistant to degenerative brain processes. Brain aging is characterised by the formation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs and senile plaques (SPs as well as neuronal and synaptic loss in both cognitively intact individuals and patients with AD. In nondemented cases NFTs are usually restricted to the hippocampal formation, whereas the progressive involvement of the association areas in the temporal neocortex parallels the development of overt clinical signs of dementia. In contrast, there is little correlation between the quantitative distribution of SP and AD severity. The pattern of lesion distribution and neuronal loss changes in extreme aging relative to the younger-old. In contrast to younger cases where dementia is mainly related to severe NFT formation within adjacent components of the medial and inferior aspects of the temporal cortex, oldest-old individuals display a preferential involvement of the anterior part of the CA1 field of the hippocampus whereas the inferior temporal and frontal association areas are relatively spared. This pattern suggests that both the extent of NFT development in the hippocampus as well as a displacement of subregional NFT distribution within the Cornu ammonis (CA fields may be key determinants of dementia in the very old. Cortical association areas are relatively preserved. The progression of NFT formation across increasing cognitive impairment was significantly slower in nonagenarians and centenarians compared to younger cases in the CA1 field and entorhinal cortex. The total amount of amyloid and the neuronal loss in these regions

  11. Social support, stress and the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Stephanie M; Cheng, Yen-Pi; Fingerman, Karen L; Schnyer, David M

    2016-07-01

    Social support benefits health and well-being in older individuals, however the mechanism remains poorly understood. One proposal, the stress-buffering hypothesis states social support 'buffers' the effects of stress on health. Alternatively, the main effect hypothesis suggests social support independently promotes health. We examined the combined association of social support and stress on the aging brain. Forty healthy older adults completed stress questionnaires, a social network interview and structural MRI to investigate the amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex circuitry, which is implicated in social and emotional processing and negatively affected by stress. Social support was positively correlated with right medial prefrontal cortical thickness while amygdala volume was negatively associated with social support and positively related to stress. We examined whether the association between social support and amygdala volume varied across stress level. Stress and social support uniquely contribute to amygdala volume, which is consistent with the health benefits of social support being independent of stress.

  12. The Influence of the Brain on Overpopulation, Ageing and Dependency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cape, Ronald D. T.

    1989-01-01

    With time, an increasing number in the world population is becoming old, and changes in the aging brain mean that a significant proportion of the aged are likely to be dependent on others. The devotion of resources to research into the aging brain could bring benefits far outweighing the investment. (Author/CW)

  13. Neuroethics in the Age of Brain Projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greely, Henry T; Ramos, Khara M; Grady, Christine

    2016-11-02

    Neuroscience advances have brought important ethical questions. The recent launch of two large brain projects, the United States BRAIN Initiative and the European Union Human Brain Project, should accelerate progress in understanding the brain. This article examines neuroethics in those two projects, as well as its exploration by other efforts.

  14. Aging. Aging-induced type I interferon response at the choroid plexus negatively affects brain function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baruch, Kuti; Deczkowska, Aleksandra; David, Eyal; Castellano, Joseph M; Miller, Omer; Kertser, Alexander; Berkutzki, Tamara; Barnett-Itzhaki, Zohar; Bezalel, Dana; Wyss-Coray, Tony; Amit, Ido; Schwartz, Michal

    2014-10-03

    Aging-associated cognitive decline is affected by factors produced inside and outside the brain. By using multiorgan genome-wide analysis of aged mice, we found that the choroid plexus, an interface between the brain and the circulation, shows a type I interferon (IFN-I)-dependent gene expression profile that was also found in aged human brains. In aged mice, this response was induced by brain-derived signals, present in the cerebrospinal fluid. Blocking IFN-I signaling within the aged brain partially restored cognitive function and hippocampal neurogenesis and reestablished IFN-II-dependent choroid plexus activity, which is lost in aging. Our data identify a chronic aging-induced IFN-I signature, often associated with antiviral response, at the brain's choroid plexus and demonstrate its negative influence on brain function, thereby suggesting a target for ameliorating cognitive decline in aging.

  15. Want a Sharper Brain as You Age? Volunteer!

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162899.html Want a Sharper Brain as You Age? Volunteer! Study finds slight improvement in ... sharper mental skills at the age of 50, a new study suggests. British researchers said their findings ...

  16. The beneficial effects of tree nuts on the aging brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietary patterns may play an important role in protecting the brain from the cellular and cognitive dysfunction associated with the aging process and neurodegenerative diseases. Tree nuts are showing promise as possible dietary interventions for age-related brain dysfunction. Tree nuts are an impo...

  17. Parameters of glucose metabolism and the aging brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Akintola, Abimbola A; van den Berg, Annette; Altmann-Schneider, Irmhild;

    2015-01-01

    Given the concurrent, escalating epidemic of diabetes mellitus and neurodegenerative diseases, two age-related disorders, we aimed to understand the relation between parameters of glucose metabolism and indices of pathology in the aging brain. From the Leiden Longevity Study, 132 participants (mean...... age 66 years) underwent a 2-h oral glucose tolerance test to assess glucose tolerance (fasted and area under the curve (AUC) glucose), insulin sensitivity (fasted and AUC insulin and homeostatic model assessment of insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IS)) and insulin secretion (insulinogenic index). 3-T brain...... different parameters of glucose metabolism (impairment of which is characteristic of diabetes mellitus) and brain aging....

  18. Plasticity of the aging brain: new directions in cognitive neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutchess, Angela

    2014-10-31

    Cognitive neuroscience has revealed aging of the human brain to be rich in reorganization and change. Neuroimaging results have recast our framework around cognitive aging from one of decline to one emphasizing plasticity. Current methods use neurostimulation approaches to manipulate brain function, providing a direct test of the ways that the brain differently contributes to task performance for younger and older adults. Emerging research into emotional, social, and motivational domains provides some evidence for preservation with age, suggesting potential avenues of plasticity, alongside additional evidence for reorganization. Thus, we begin to see that aging of the brain, amidst interrelated behavioral and biological changes, is as complex and idiosyncratic as the brain itself, qualitatively changing over the life span.

  19. Visceral adipose tissue inflammation is associated with age-related brain changes and ischemic brain damage in aged mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Jin A; Jeong, Sae Im; Kim, Minsuk; Yoon, Joo Chun; Kim, Hee-Sun; Park, Eun-Mi

    2015-11-01

    Visceral adipose tissue is accumulated with aging. An increase in visceral fat accompanied by low-grade inflammation is associated with several adult-onset diseases. However, the effects of visceral adipose tissue inflammation on the normal and ischemic brains of aged are not clearly defined. To examine the role of visceral adipose tissue inflammation, we evaluated inflammatory cytokines in the serum, visceral adipose tissue, and brain as well as blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability in aged male mice (20 months) underwent sham or visceral fat removal surgery compared with the young mice (2.5 months). Additionally, ischemic brain injury was compared in young and aged mice with sham and visceral fat removal surgery. Interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α levels in examined organs were increased in aged mice compared with the young mice, and these levels were reduced in the mice with visceral fat removal. Increased BBB permeability with reduced expression of tight junction proteins in aged sham mice were also decreased in mice with visceral fat removal. After focal ischemic injury, aged mice with visceral fat removal showed a reduction in infarct volumes, BBB permeability, and levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the ischemic brain compared with sham mice, although the neurological outcomes were not significantly improved. In addition, further upregulated visceral adipose tissue inflammation in response to ischemic brain injury was attenuated in mice with visceral fat removal. These results suggest that visceral adipose tissue inflammation is associated with age-related changes in the brain and contributes to the ischemic brain damage in the aged mice. We suggest that visceral adiposity should be considered as a factor affecting brain health and ischemic brain damage in the aged population.

  20. Adaptation of brain functional and structural networks in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Annie; Ratnarajah, Nagulan; Tuan, Ta Anh; Chen, Shen-Hsing Annabel; Qiu, Anqi

    2015-01-01

    The human brain, especially the prefrontal cortex (PFC), is functionally and anatomically reorganized in order to adapt to neuronal challenges in aging. This study employed structural MRI, resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI), and high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI), and examined the functional and structural reorganization of the PFC in aging using a Chinese sample of 173 subjects aged from 21 years and above. We found age-related increases in the structural connectivity between the PFC and posterior brain regions. Such findings were partially mediated by age-related increases in the structural connectivity of the occipital lobe within the posterior brain. Based on our findings, it is thought that the PFC reorganization in aging could be partly due to the adaptation to age-related changes in the structural reorganization of the posterior brain. This thus supports the idea derived from task-based fMRI that the PFC reorganization in aging may be adapted to the need of compensation for resolving less distinctive stimulus information from the posterior brain regions. In addition, we found that the structural connectivity of the PFC with the temporal lobe was fully mediated by the temporal cortical thickness, suggesting that the brain morphology plays an important role in the functional and structural reorganization with aging.

  1. Adaptation of brain functional and structural networks in aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annie Lee

    Full Text Available The human brain, especially the prefrontal cortex (PFC, is functionally and anatomically reorganized in order to adapt to neuronal challenges in aging. This study employed structural MRI, resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI, and high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI, and examined the functional and structural reorganization of the PFC in aging using a Chinese sample of 173 subjects aged from 21 years and above. We found age-related increases in the structural connectivity between the PFC and posterior brain regions. Such findings were partially mediated by age-related increases in the structural connectivity of the occipital lobe within the posterior brain. Based on our findings, it is thought that the PFC reorganization in aging could be partly due to the adaptation to age-related changes in the structural reorganization of the posterior brain. This thus supports the idea derived from task-based fMRI that the PFC reorganization in aging may be adapted to the need of compensation for resolving less distinctive stimulus information from the posterior brain regions. In addition, we found that the structural connectivity of the PFC with the temporal lobe was fully mediated by the temporal cortical thickness, suggesting that the brain morphology plays an important role in the functional and structural reorganization with aging.

  2. Do glutathione levels decline in aging human brain?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Junchao; Fitzmaurice, Paul S; Moszczynska, Anna; Mattina, Katie; Ang, Lee-Cyn; Boileau, Isabelle; Furukawa, Yoshiaki; Sailasuta, Napapon; Kish, Stephen J

    2016-04-01

    For the past 60 years a major theory of "aging" is that age-related damage is largely caused by excessive uncompensated oxidative stress. The ubiquitous tripeptide glutathione is a major antioxidant defense mechanism against reactive free radicals and has also served as a marker of changes in oxidative stress. Some (albeit conflicting) animal data suggest a loss of glutathione in brain senescence, which might compromise the ability of the aging brain to meet the demands of oxidative stress. Our objective was to establish whether advancing age is associated with glutathione deficiency in human brain. We measured reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in multiple regions of autopsied brain of normal subjects (n=74) aged one day to 99 years. Brain GSH levels during the infancy/teenage years were generally similar to those in the oldest examined adult group (76-99 years). During adulthood (23-99 years) GSH levels remained either stable (occipital cortex) or increased (caudate nucleus, frontal and cerebellar cortices). To the extent that GSH levels represent glutathione antioxidant capacity, our postmortem data suggest that human brain aging is not associated with declining glutathione status. We suggest that aged healthy human brains can maintain antioxidant capacity related to glutathione and that an age-related increase in GSH levels in some brain regions might possibly be a compensatory response to increased oxidative stress. Since our findings, although suggestive, suffer from the generic limitations of all postmortem brain studies, we also suggest the need for "replication" investigations employing the new (1)H MRS imaging procedures in living human brain.

  3. Molecular aging of the brain, neuroplasticity, and vulnerability to depression and other brain-related disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, Etienne

    2013-03-01

    The increased risk for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders associated with extended lifespan has long suggested mechanistic links between chronological age and brain-related disorders, including depression, Recent characterizations of age-dependent gene expression changes now show that aging of the human brain engages a specific set of biological pathways along a continuous lifelong trajectory, and that the same genes that are associated with normal brain aging are also frequently and similarly implicated in depression and other brain-related disorders. These correlative observations suggest a model of age-by-disease molecular interactions, in which brain aging promotes biological changes associated with diseases, and additional environmental factors and genetic variability contribute to defining disease risk or resiliency trajectories. Here we review the characteristic features of brain aging in terms of changes in gene function over time, and then focus on evidence supporting accelerated molecular aging in depression. This proposed age-by-disease biological interaction model addresses the current gap in research between "normal" brain aging and its connection to late-life diseases. The implications of this model are profound, as it provides an investigational framework for identifying critical moderating factors, outlines opportunities for early interventions or preventions, and may form the basis for a dimensional definition of diseases that goes beyond the current categorical system.

  4. The Role of Brain Aging in Cognition and Motor Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Y.Y. Hoogendam (Jory)

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ Aging of the population is accompanied by many challenges, such as the maintenance of health and quality of life during older age. An important aspect of living longer is that old age is related to disease and loss of functions. The loss of brain functions poses a large

  5. Accelerated Brain Aging in Schizophrenia : A Longitudinal Pattern Recognition Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schnack, Hugo G; van Haren, Neeltje E M; Nieuwenhuis, Mireille; Hulshoff Pol, Hilleke E; Cahn, Wiepke; Kahn, René S

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Despite the multitude of longitudinal neuroimaging studies that have been published, a basic question on the progressive brain loss in schizophrenia remains unaddressed: Does it reflect accelerated aging of the brain, or is it caused by a fundamentally different process? The authors used

  6. Accelerated brain aging in schizophrenia : A longitudinal pattern recognition study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schnack, Hugo G.; Van Haren, Neeltje E M; Nieuwenhuis, Mireille; Pol, Hilleke E Hulshoff; Cahn, Wiepke; Kahn, René S.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Despite the multitude of longitudinal neuroimaging studies that have been published, a basic question on the progressive brain loss in schizophrenia remains unaddressed: Does it reflect accelerated aging of the brain, or is it caused by a fundamentally different process? The authors used

  7. Exploring age-related brain degeneration in meditation practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luders, Eileen

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of research suggests that meditation practices are associated with substantial psychological as well as physiological benefits. In searching for the biological mechanisms underlying the beneficial impact of meditation, studies have revealed practice-induced alterations of neurotransmitters, brain activity, and cognitive abilities, just to name a few. These findings not only imply a close link between meditation and brain structure, but also suggest possible modulating effects of meditation on age-related brain atrophy. Given that normal aging is associated with significant loss of brain tissue, meditation-induced growth and/or preservation might manifest as a seemingly reduced brain age in meditators (i.e., cerebral measures characteristic of younger brains). Surprisingly, there are only three published studies that have addressed the question of whether meditation diminishes age-related brain degeneration. This paper reviews these three studies with respect to the brain attributes studied, the analytical strategies applied, and the findings revealed. The review concludes with an elaborate discussion on the significance of existing studies, implications and directions for future studies, as well as the overall relevance of this field of research.

  8. Modeling the brain morphology distribution in the general aging population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huizinga, W.; Poot, D. H. J.; Roshchupkin, G.; Bron, E. E.; Ikram, M. A.; Vernooij, M. W.; Rueckert, D.; Niessen, W. J.; Klein, S.

    2016-03-01

    Both normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease cause morphological changes of the brain. To better distinguish between normal and abnormal cases, it is necessary to model changes in brain morphology owing to normal aging. To this end, we developed a method for analyzing and visualizing these changes for the entire brain morphology distribution in the general aging population. The method is applied to 1000 subjects from a large population imaging study in the elderly, from which 900 were used to train the model and 100 were used for testing. The results of the 100 test subjects show that the model generalizes to subjects outside the model population. Smooth percentile curves showing the brain morphology changes as a function of age and spatiotemporal atlases derived from the model population are publicly available via an interactive web application at agingbrain.bigr.nl.

  9. Lipidomics of human brain aging and Alzheimer's disease pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naudí, Alba; Cabré, Rosanna; Jové, Mariona; Ayala, Victoria; Gonzalo, Hugo; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Ferrer, Isidre; Pamplona, Reinald

    2015-01-01

    Lipids stimulated and favored the evolution of the brain. Adult human brain contains a large amount of lipids, and the largest diversity of lipid classes and lipid molecular species. Lipidomics is defined as "the full characterization of lipid molecular species and of their biological roles with respect to expression of proteins involved in lipid metabolism and function, including gene regulation." Therefore, the study of brain lipidomics can help to unravel the diversity and to disclose the specificity of these lipid traits and its alterations in neural (neurons and glial) cells, groups of neural cells, brain, and fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid and plasma, thus helping to uncover potential biomarkers of human brain aging and Alzheimer disease. This review will discuss the lipid composition of the adult human brain. We first consider a brief approach to lipid definition, classification, and tools for analysis from the new point of view that has emerged with lipidomics, and then turn to the lipid profiles in human brain and how lipids affect brain function. Finally, we focus on the current status of lipidomics findings in human brain aging and Alzheimer's disease pathology. Neurolipidomics will increase knowledge about physiological and pathological functions of brain cells and will place the concept of selective neuronal vulnerability in a lipid context.

  10. Data for mitochondrial proteomic alterations in the aging mouse brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly L. Stauch

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondria are dynamic organelles critical for many cellular processes, including energy generation. Thus, mitochondrial dysfunction likely plays a role in the observed alterations in brain glucose metabolism during aging. Despite implications of mitochondrial alterations during brain aging, comprehensive quantitative proteomic studies remain limited. Therefore, to characterize the global age-associated mitochondrial proteomic changes in the brain, we analyzed mitochondria isolated from the brain of 5-, 12-, and 24-month old mice using quantitative mass spectrometry. We identified changes in the expression of proteins important for biological processes involved in the generation of precursor metabolites and energy through the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. These results are significant because we identified age-associated proteomic changes suggestive of altered mitochondrial catabolic reactions during brain aging. The proteomic data described here can be found in the PRIDE Archive using the reference number PXD001370. A more comprehensive analysis of this data may be obtained from the article “Proteomic analysis and functional characterization of mouse brain mitochondria during aging reveal alterations in energy metabolism” in PROTEOMICS.

  11. Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience: Innovations for Healthy Brain Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Karolina Zamroziewicz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Nutritional cognitive neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to understand nutrition’s impact on cognition and brain health across the life span. Research in this burgeoning field demonstrates that many aspects of nutrition – from entire diets to specific nutrients – affect brain structure and function, and therefore have profound implications for understanding the nature of healthy brain aging. The aim of this Focused Review is to examine recent advances in nutritional cognitive neuroscience, with an emphasis on methods that enable discovery of nutrient biomarkers that predict healthy brain aging. We propose an integrative framework that calls for the synthesis of research in nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, incorporating: (i methods for the precise characterization of nutritional health based on the analysis of nutrient biomarker patterns, along with (ii modern indices of brain health derived from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging. By integrating cutting-edge techniques from nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, nutritional cognitive neuroscience will continue to advance our understanding of the beneficial effects of nutrition on the aging brain and establish effective nutritional interventions to promote healthy brain aging.

  12. Emotion and aging: evidence from brain and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebner, Natalie C; Fischer, Håkan

    2014-01-01

    Emotions play a central role in every human life from the moment we are born until we die. They prepare the body for action, highlight what should be noticed and remembered, and guide decisions and actions. As emotions are central to daily functioning, it is important to understand how aging affects perception, memory, experience, as well as regulation of emotions. The Frontiers research topic Emotion and Aging: Evidence from Brain and Behavior takes a step into uncovering emotional aging considering both brain and behavioral processes. The contributions featured in this issue adopt innovative theoretical perspectives and use novel methodological approaches to target a variety of topics that can be categorized into three overarching questions: How do cognition and emotion interact in aging in brain and behavior? What are behavioral and brain-related moderators of emotional aging? Does emotion-regulatory success as reflected in brain and behavior change with age? In this perspective paper we discuss theoretical innovation, methodological approach, and scientific advancement of the 13 papers in the context of the broader literature on emotional aging. We conclude by reflecting on topics untouched and future directions to take.

  13. Emotion and Aging: Evidence from Brain and Behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie eEbner

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Emotions play a central role in every human life from the moment we are born until we die. They prepare the body for action, highlight what should be noticed and remembered, and guide decisions and actions. As emotions are central to daily functioning, it is important to understand how aging affects perception, memory, experience, as well as regulation of emotions. The Frontiers research topic Emotion and Aging: Evidence from Brain and Behavior takes a step into uncovering emotional aging considering both brain and behavioral processes. The contributions featured in this issue adopt innovative theoretical perspectives and use novel methodological approaches to target a variety of topics that can be categorized into three overarching questions: How do cognition and emotion interact in aging in brain and behavior? What are behavioral and brain-related moderators of emotional aging? Does emotion-regulatory success as reflected in brain and behavior change with age? In this perspective paper we discuss theoretical innovation, methodological approach, and scientific advancement of the thirteen papers in the context of the broader literature on emotional aging. We conclude by reflecting on topics untouched and future directions to take.

  14. Do brain image databanks support understanding of normal ageing brain structure? A systematic review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dickie, David Alexander; Job, Dominic E.; Wardlaw, Joanna M. [University of Edinburgh, Division of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Brain Research Imaging Centre (BRIC), Edinburgh (United Kingdom); Scottish Imaging Network, A Platform for Scientific Excellence (SINAPSE), Edinburgh (United Kingdom); Poole, Ian [Toshiba Medical Visualisation Systems Europe, Ltd., Edinburgh (United Kingdom); Ahearn, Trevor S.; Staff, Roger T.; Murray, Alison D. [University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen Biomedical Imaging Centre, Aberdeen (United Kingdom); Scottish Imaging Network, A Platform for Scientific Excellence (SINAPSE), Edinburgh (United Kingdom)

    2012-07-15

    To document accessible magnetic resonance (MR) brain images, metadata and statistical results from normal older subjects that may be used to improve diagnoses of dementia. We systematically reviewed published brain image databanks (print literature and Internet) concerned with normal ageing brain structure. From nine eligible databanks, there appeared to be 944 normal subjects aged {>=}60 years. However, many subjects were in more than one databank and not all were fully representative of normal ageing clinical characteristics. Therefore, there were approximately 343 subjects aged {>=}60 years with metadata representative of normal ageing, but only 98 subjects were openly accessible. No databank had the range of MR image sequences, e.g. T2*, fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR), required to effectively characterise the features of brain ageing. No databank supported random subject retrieval; therefore, manual selection bias and errors may occur in studies that use these subjects as controls. Finally, no databank stored results from statistical analyses of its brain image and metadata that may be validated with analyses of further data. Brain image databanks require open access, more subjects, metadata, MR image sequences, searchability and statistical results to improve understanding of normal ageing brain structure and diagnoses of dementia. (orig.)

  15. Influence of age on brain edema formation, secondary brain damage and inflammatory response after brain trauma in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralph Timaru-Kast

    Full Text Available After traumatic brain injury (TBI elderly patients suffer from higher mortality rate and worse functional outcome compared to young patients. However, experimental TBI research is primarily performed in young animals. Aim of the present study was to clarify whether age affects functional outcome, neuroinflammation and secondary brain damage after brain trauma in mice. Young (2 months and old (21 months male C57Bl6N mice were anesthetized and subjected to a controlled cortical impact injury (CCI on the right parietal cortex. Animals of both ages were randomly assigned to 15 min, 24 h, and 72 h survival. At the end of the observation periods, contusion volume, brain water content, neurologic function, cerebral and systemic inflammation (CD3+ T cell migration, inflammatory cytokine expression in brain and lung, blood differential cell count were determined. Old animals showed worse neurological function 72 h after CCI and a high mortality rate (19.2% compared to young (0%. This did not correlate with histopathological damage, as contusion volumes were equal in both age groups. Although a more pronounced brain edema formation was detected in old mice 24 hours after TBI, lack of correlation between brain water content and neurological deficit indicated that brain edema formation is not solely responsible for age-dependent differences in neurological outcome. Brains of old naïve mice were about 8% smaller compared to young naïve brains, suggesting age-related brain atrophy with possible decline in plasticity. Onset of cerebral inflammation started earlier and primarily ipsilateral to damage in old mice, whereas in young mice inflammation was delayed and present in both hemispheres with a characteristic T cell migration pattern. Pulmonary interleukin 1β expression was up-regulated after cerebral injury only in young, not aged mice. The results therefore indicate that old animals are prone to functional deficits and strong ipsilateral cerebral

  16. Fertility, aging and the brain neuroendocrinological studies in female rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Franke, A.N.

    2003-01-01

    It is well known that fertility decreases in female mammals with advancing age. In women this decrease already starts around the age of 30 and shows a large variation between individuals. The aim of this thesis was to elucidate changes in the reproductive system, especially in the brain, that may un

  17. Aging of the Brain: How Can We Prevent It?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvik, Lissy F.

    1988-01-01

    Contends distinction between normal and abnormal aging of the brain changes as data emerge which identify as pathology what had previously been considered the norm. Reviews research on effects of aging in twins begun in 1940s, focusing on facts related to intellectual decline, neuropsychological test performance relationship to dementia, and…

  18. A Brain Network Processing the Age of Faces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Homola, G.A.; Jbabdi, S.; Beckmann, C.F.; Bartsch, A.J.

    2012-01-01

    Age is one of the most salient aspects in faces and of fundamental cognitive and social relevance. Although face processing has been studied extensively, brain regions responsive to age have yet to be localized. Using evocative face morphs and fMRI, we segregate two areas extending beyond the previo

  19. ShcC proteins: brain aging and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagi, Orli; Budovsky, Arie; Wolfson, Marina; Fraifeld, Vadim E

    2015-01-01

    To date, most studies of Shc family of signaling adaptor proteins have been focused on the near-ubiquitously expressed ShcA, indicating its relevance to age-related diseases and longevity. Although the role of the neuronal ShcC protein is much less investigated, accumulated evidence suggests its importance for neuroprotection against such aging-associated conditions as brain ischemia and oxidative stress. Here, we summarize more than decade of studies on the ShcC expression and function in normal brain, age-related brain pathologies and immune disorders with a focus on the interactions of ShcC with signaling proteins/pathways, and the possible implications of these interactions for changes associated with aging.

  20. Hearing Impairment Is Associated with Smaller Brain Volume in Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigters, Stephanie C.; Bos, Daniel; Metselaar, Mick; Roshchupkin, Gennady V.; Baatenburg de Jong, Robert J.; Ikram, M. Arfan; Vernooij, Meike W.; Goedegebure, André

    2017-01-01

    Although recent studies show that age-related hearing impairment is associated with cerebral changes, data from a population perspective are still lacking. Therefore, we studied the relation between hearing impairment and brain volume in a large elderly cohort. From the population-based Rotterdam Study, 2,908 participants (mean age 65 years, 56% female) underwent a pure-tone audiogram to quantify hearing impairment. By performing MR imaging of the brain we quantified global and regional brain tissue volumes (total brain volume, gray matter volume, white matter (WM) volume, and lobe-specific volumes). We used multiple linear regression models, adjusting for age, sex, head size, time between hearing test and MR imaging, and relevant cognitive and cardiovascular covariates. Furthermore, we performed voxel-based morphometry to explore sub-regional differences. We found that a higher pure-tone threshold was associated with a smaller total brain volume [difference in standardized brain volume per decibel increase in hearing threshold in the age-sex adjusted model: -0.003 (95% confidence interval -0.004; -0.001)]. Specifically, WM volume was associated. Both associations were more pronounced in the lower frequencies. All associations were consistently present in all brain lobes in the lower frequencies and in most lobes in the higher frequencies, and were independent of cognitive function and cardiovascular risk factors. In voxel-based analyses we found associations of hearing impairment with smaller white volumes and some smaller and larger gray volumes, yet these were statistically non-significant. Our findings demonstrate that hearing impairment in elderly is related to smaller total brain volume, independent of cognition and cardiovascular risk factors. This mainly seems to be driven by smaller WM volume, throughout the brain.

  1. Understanding How Exercise Promotes Cognitive Integrity in the Aging Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laitman, Benjamin M; John, Gareth R

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in the structure and organization of the aging central nervous system (CNS), and associated functional deficits, result in cognitive decline and increase susceptibility to neurodegeneration. Age-related changes to the neurovascular unit (NVU), and their consequences for cerebrovascular function, are implicated as driving cognitive impairment during aging as well as in neurodegenerative disease. The molecular events underlying these effects are incompletely characterized. Similarly, the mechanisms underlying effects of factors that reduce the impact of aging on the brain, such as physical exercise, are also opaque. A study in this issue of PLOS Biology links the NVU to cognitive decline in the aging brain and suggests a potential underlying molecular mechanism. Notably, the study further links the protective effects of chronic exercise on cognition to neurovascular integrity during aging.

  2. Emotion and aging: evidence from brain and behavior

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Emotions play a central role in every human life from the moment we are born until we die. They prepare the body for action, highlight what should be noticed and remembered, and guide decisions and actions. As emotions are central to daily functioning, it is important to understand how aging affects perception, memory, experience, as well as regulation of emotions. The Frontiers research topic Emotion and Aging: Evidence from Brain and Behavior takes a step into uncovering emotional aging con...

  3. Differential Expression of Sirtuins in the Ageing Rat Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles J. Guillemin

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Although there are seven mammalian sirtuins (SIRT1-7, little is known about their expression in the ageing brain. To characterise the change(s in mRNA and protein expression of SIRT1-7 and their associated proteins in the brain of ‘physiologically’ aged Wistar rats. We tested mRNA and protein expression levels of rat SIRT1-7, and the levels of associated proteins in the brain using RT-PCR and western blotting. Our data shows that SIRT1 expression increases with age, concurrently with increased acetylated p53 levels in all brain regions investigated. SIRT2 and FOXO3a protein levels increased only in the occipital lobe. SIRT3-5 expression declined significantly in the hippocampus and frontal lobe, associated with increases in superoxide and fatty acid oxidation levels, and acetylated CPS-1 protein expression, and a reduction in MnSOD level. While SIRT6 expression declines significantly with age acetylated H3K9 protein expression is increased throughout the brain. SIRT7 and Pol I protein expression increased in the frontal lobe. This study identifies previously unknown roles for sirtuins in regulating cellular homeostasis and healthy ageing.

  4. Berry Fruit Supplementation in the Aging Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    The onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease, superimposed on a declining nervous system, could exacerbate the motor and cognitive behavioral deficits that normally occur in senescence. In cases of severe deficits in memory or motor function, hospit...

  5. Attenuated inflammatory response in aged mice brains following stroke.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias W Sieber

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Increased age is a major risk factor for stroke incidence, post-ischemic mortality, and severe and long-term disability. Stroke outcome is considerably influenced by post-ischemic mechanisms. We hypothesized that the inflammatory response following an ischemic injury is altered in aged organisms. METHODS AND RESULTS: To that end, we analyzed the expression pattern of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF, IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10, TGFβ1, and chemokines (Mip-1α, MCP-1, RANTES of adult (2 months and aged (24 months mice brains at different reperfusion times (6 h, 12 h, 24 h, 2 d, 7 d following transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. The infarct size was assessed to monitor possible consequences of an altered inflammatory response in aged mice. Our data revealed an increased neuro-inflammation with age. Above all, we found profound age-related alterations in the reaction to stroke. The response of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF, and IL-1β and the level of chemokines (Mip-1α, and MCP-1 were strongly diminished in the aged post-ischemic brain tissue. IL-6 showed the strongest age-dependent decrease in its post-ischemic expression profile. Anti-inflammatory cytokines (TGFβ1, and IL-10 revealed no significant age dependency after ischemia. Aged mice brains tend to develop smaller infarcts. CONCLUSION: The attenuated inflammatory response to stroke in aged animals may contribute to their smaller infarcts. The results presented here highlight the importance of using aged animals to investigate age-associated diseases like stroke, and should be considered as a major prerequisite in the development of age-adjusted therapeutic interventions.

  6. In vivo calcium imaging of the aging and diseased brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eichhoff, Gerhard; Busche, Marc A.; Garaschuk, Olga [Technical University of Munich, Institute of Neuroscience, Munich (Germany)

    2008-03-15

    Over the last decade, in vivo calcium imaging became a powerful tool for studying brain function. With the use of two-photon microscopy and modern labelling techniques, it allows functional studies of individual living cells, their processes and their interactions within neuronal networks. In vivo calcium imaging is even more important for studying the aged brain, which is hard to investigate in situ due to the fragility of neuronal tissue. In this article, we give a brief overview of the techniques applicable to image aged rodent brain at cellular resolution. We use multicolor imaging to visualize specific cell types (neurons, astrocytes, microglia) as well as the autofluorescence of the ''aging pigment'' lipofuscin. Further, we illustrate an approach for simultaneous imaging of cortical cells and senile plaques in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. (orig.)

  7. A brain network processing the age of faces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    György A Homola

    Full Text Available Age is one of the most salient aspects in faces and of fundamental cognitive and social relevance. Although face processing has been studied extensively, brain regions responsive to age have yet to be localized. Using evocative face morphs and fMRI, we segregate two areas extending beyond the previously established face-sensitive core network, centered on the inferior temporal sulci and angular gyri bilaterally, both of which process changes of facial age. By means of probabilistic tractography, we compare their patterns of functional activation and structural connectivity. The ventral portion of Wernicke's understudied perpendicular association fasciculus is shown to interconnect the two areas, and activation within these clusters is related to the probability of fiber connectivity between them. In addition, post-hoc age-rating competence is found to be associated with high response magnitudes in the left angular gyrus. Our results provide the first evidence that facial age has a distinct representation pattern in the posterior human brain. We propose that particular face-sensitive nodes interact with additional object-unselective quantification modules to obtain individual estimates of facial age. This brain network processing the age of faces differs from the cortical areas that have previously been linked to less developmental but instantly changeable face aspects. Our probabilistic method of associating activations with connectivity patterns reveals an exemplary link that can be used to further study, assess and quantify structure-function relationships.

  8. Brain energy metabolism and blood flow differences in healthy aging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanerud, Joel; Borghammer, Per; Chakravarty, M Mallar

    2012-01-01

    Cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption (CMRO(2)), cerebral blood flow (CBF), and oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) are important indices of healthy aging of the brain. Although a frequent topic of study, changes of CBF and CMRO(2) during normal aging are still controversial, as some authors...... find decreases of both CBF and CMRO(2) but increased OEF, while others find no change, and yet other find divergent changes. In this reanalysis of previously published results from positron emission tomography of healthy volunteers, we determined CMRO(2) and CBF in 66 healthy volunteers aged 21 to 81......, and in the temporal cortex. Because of the inverse relation between OEF and capillary oxygen tension, increased OEF can compromise oxygen delivery to neurons, with possible perturbation of energy turnover. The results establish a possible mechanism of progression from healthy to unhealthy brain aging, as the regions...

  9. Intrinsic brain connectivity related to age in young and middle aged adults.

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    Michelle Hampson

    Full Text Available Age-related variations in resting state connectivity of the human brain were examined from young adulthood through middle age. A voxel-based network measure, degree, was used to assess age-related differences in tissue connectivity throughout the brain. Increases in connectivity with age were found in paralimbic cortical and subcortical regions. Decreases in connectivity were found in cortical regions, including visual areas and the default mode network. These findings differ from those of recent developmental studies examining earlier growth trajectories, and are consistent with known changes in cognitive function and emotional processing during mature aging. The results support and extend previous findings that relied on a priori definitions of regions of interest for their analyses. This approach of applying a voxel-based measure to examine the functional connectivity of individual tissue elements over time, without the need for a priori region of interest definitions, provides an important new tool in brain science.

  10. Life and death of neurons in the aging brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, J. H.; Hof, P. R.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by extensive neuron death that leads to functional decline, but the neurobiological correlates of functional decline in normal aging are less well defined. For decades, it has been a commonly held notion that widespread neuron death in the neocortex and hippocampus is an inevitable concomitant of brain aging, but recent quantitative studies suggest that neuron death is restricted in normal aging and unlikely to account for age-related impairment of neocortical and hippocampal functions. In this article, the qualitative and quantitative differences between aging and Alzheimer's disease with respect to neuron loss are discussed, and age-related changes in functional and biochemical attributes of hippocampal circuits that might mediate functional decline in the absence of neuron death are explored. When these data are viewed comprehensively, it appears that the primary neurobiological substrates for functional impairment in aging differ in important ways from those in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

  11. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation.

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    Patrick M Loerch

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4. However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes.

  12. Manifold learning on brain functional networks in aging.

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    Qiu, Anqi; Lee, Annie; Tan, Mingzhen; Chung, Moo K

    2015-02-01

    We propose a new analysis framework to utilize the full information of brain functional networks for computing the mean of a set of brain functional networks and embedding brain functional networks into a low-dimensional space in which traditional regression and classification analyses can be easily employed. For this, we first represent the brain functional network by a symmetric positive matrix computed using sparse inverse covariance estimation. We then impose a Log-Euclidean Riemannian manifold structure on brain functional networks whose norm gives a convenient and practical way to define a mean. Finally, based on the fact that the computation of linear operations can be done in the tangent space of this Riemannian manifold, we adopt Locally Linear Embedding (LLE) to the Log-Euclidean Riemannian manifold space in order to embed the brain functional networks into a low-dimensional space. We show that the integration of the Log-Euclidean manifold with LLE provides more efficient and succinct representation of the functional network and facilitates regression analysis, such as ridge regression, on the brain functional network to more accurately predict age when compared to that of the Euclidean space of functional networks with LLE. Interestingly, using the Log-Euclidean analysis framework, we demonstrate the integration and segregation of cortical-subcortical networks as well as among the salience, executive, and emotional networks across lifespan.

  13. DNA Strand Breaks, Neurodegeneration and Aging in the Brain

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    Katyal, Sachin; McKinnon, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    Defective responses to DNA single- or double-strand breaks can result in neurological disease, underscoring the critical importance of DNA repair for neural homeostasis. Human DNA repair-deficient syndromes are generally congenital, in which brain pathology reflects the consequences of developmentally incurred DNA damage. Although, it is unclear to what degree DNA strand-break repair defects in mature neural cells contributes to disease pathology. However, DNA single-strand breaks are a relatively common lesion which if not repaired can impact cells via interference with transcription. Thus, this lesion, and probably to a lesser extent DNA double strand breaks, may be particularly relevant to aging in the neural cell population. In this review we will examine the consequences of defective DNA strand break repair towards homeostasis in the brain. Further, we also consider the utility of mouse models as reagents to understand the connection between DNA strand breaks and aging in the brain. PMID:18455751

  14. Alpha oscillatory correlates of motor inhibition in the aged brain

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    Marlene eBoenstrup

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Exerting inhibitory control is a cognitive ability mediated by functions known to decline with age. The goal of this study is to add to the mechanistic understanding of cortical inhibition during motor control in aged brains. Based on behavioral findings of impaired inhibitory control with age we hypothesized that elderly will show a reduced or a lack of EEG alpha-power increase during tasks that require motor inhibition. Since inhibitory control over movements has been shown to rely on prior motor memory formation, we investigated cortical inhibitory processes at two points in time - early after learning and after an overnight consolidation phase and hypothesized an overnight increase of inhibitory capacities. Young and elderly participants acquired a complex finger movement sequence and in each experimental session brain activity during execution and inhibition of the sequence was recorded with multi-channel EEG. We assessed cortical processes of sustained inhibition by means of task-induced changes of alpha oscillatory power. During inhibition of the learned movement, young participants showed a significant alpha power increase at the sensorimotor cortices whereas elderly did not. Interestingly, for both groups, the overnight consolidation phase improved up-regulation of alpha power during sustained inhibition. This points to deficits in the generation and enhancement of local inhibitory mechanisms at the sensorimotor cortices in aged brains. However, the alpha power increase in both groups implies neuroplastic changes that strengthen the network of alpha power generation over time in young as well as elderly brains.

  15. New progress in brain aging and its related neurological diseases

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    Ming-wei ZHU

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Brain aging-related neurological diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD, Parkinson's disease (PD and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA have become one of the major diseases endangering the health of old people in China. Although the mechanism of brain aging and pathogenesis of its related neurodegenerative diseases remain unclear, protein pathological studies such as tau, α-synuclein (α-Syn, TDP-43 and amyloid-β protein (Aβ based on brain tissue bank and case registration database are opening the door to solve the mystery in the brain aging process and unlock pathogenesis of aging-related neurodegenerative diseases. Research on functional neuroimaging including 11C-PIB PET and 18F-FDDNP PET in Alzheimer's disease and 18F-FDG PET in Parkinson's disease, and biomarkers such as total-tau, phosphorylated-tau, and the 42 amino acid fragment of β-amyloid in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF in the preclinical stages of Alzheimer's disease now become hot topics in the field of elderly dementia and movement disorders. Clinicopathological correlation research of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy is also one of focuses in the geriatric neurological diseases. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-6731.2014.03.004

  16. Aging and Gene Expression in the Primate Brain

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    Fraser, Hunter B.; Khaitovich, Philipp; Plotkin, Joshua B.; Paabo, Svante; Eisen, Michael B.

    2005-02-18

    It is well established that gene expression levels in many organisms change during the aging process, and the advent of DNA microarrays has allowed genome-wide patterns of transcriptional changes associated with aging to be studied in both model organisms and various human tissues. Understanding the effects of aging on gene expression in the human brain is of particular interest, because of its relation to both normal and pathological neurodegeneration. Here we show that human cerebral cortex, human cerebellum, and chimpanzee cortex each undergo different patterns of age-related gene expression alterations. In humans, many more genes undergo consistent expression changes in the cortex than in the cerebellum; in chimpanzees, many genes change expression with age in cortex, but the pattern of changes in expression bears almost no resemblance to that of human cortex. These results demonstrate the diversity of aging patterns present within the human brain, as well as how rapidly genome-wide patterns of aging can evolve between species; they may also have implications for the oxidative free radical theory of aging, and help to improve our understanding of human neurodegenerative diseases.

  17. Ketones and brain development: Implications for correcting deteriorating brain glucose metabolism during aging

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    Nugent Scott

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain energy metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease (AD is characterized mainly by temporo-parietal glucose hypometabolism. This pattern has been widely viewed as a consequence of the disease, i.e. deteriorating neuronal function leading to lower demand for glucose. This review will address deteriorating glucose metabolism as a problem specific to glucose and one that precedes AD. Hence, ketones and medium chain fatty acids (MCFA could be an alternative source of energy for the aging brain that could compensate for low brain glucose uptake. MCFA in the form of dietary medium chain triglycerides (MCT have a long history in clinical nutrition and are widely regarded as safe by government regulatory agencies. The importance of ketones in meeting the high energy and anabolic requirements of the infant brain suggest they may be able to contribute in the same way in the aging brain. Clinical studies suggest that ketogenesis from MCT may be able to bypass the increasing risk of insufficient glucose uptake or metabolism in the aging brain sufficiently to have positive effects on cognition.

  18. Resveratrol attenuates peripheral and brain inflammation and reduces ischemic brain injury in aged female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Sae Im; Shin, Jin A; Cho, Sunghee; Kim, Hye Won; Lee, Ji Yoon; Kang, Jihee Lee; Park, Eun-Mi

    2016-08-01

    Resveratrol is known to improve metabolic dysfunction associated with obesity. Visceral obesity is a sign of aging and is considered a risk factor for ischemic stroke. In this study, we investigated the effects of resveratrol on inflammation in visceral adipose tissue and the brain and its effects on ischemic brain injury in aged female mice. Mice treated with resveratrol (0.1 mg/kg, p.o.) for 10 days showed reduced levels of interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α, as well as a reduction in the size of adipocytes in visceral adipose tissue. Resveratrol also reduced interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α protein levels and immunoglobulin G extravasation in the brain. Mice treated with resveratrol demonstrated smaller infarct size, improved neurological function, and blunted peripheral inflammation at 3 days postischemic stroke. These results showed that resveratrol counteracted inflammation in visceral adipose tissue and in the brain and reduced stroke-induced brain injury and peripheral inflammation in aged female mice. Therefore, resveratrol administration can be a valuable strategy for the prevention of age-associated and disease-provoked inflammation in postmenopausal women.

  19. NSAIDs may protect against age-related brain atrophy

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    Barbara B Bendlin

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs in humans is associated with brain differences including decreased number of activated microglia. In animals, NSAIDs are associated with reduced microglia, decreased amyloid burden, and neuronal preservation. Several studies suggest NSAIDs protect brain regions affected in the earliest stages of AD, including hippocampal and parahippocampal regions. In this cross-sectional study, we examined the protective effect of NSAID use on gray matter volume in a group of middle-aged and older NSAID users (n = 25 compared to non-user controls (n = 50. All participants underwent neuropsychological testing and T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Non-user controls showed smaller volume in portions of the left hippocampus compared to NSAID users. Age-related loss of volume differed between groups, with controls showing greater medial temporal lobe volume loss with age compared to NSAID users. These results should be considered preliminary, but support previous reports that NSAIDs may modulate age-related loss of brain volume.

  20. Blood-Brain Barrier Breakdown in the Aging Human Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montagne, Axel; Barnes, Samuel R.; Sweeney, Melanie D.; Halliday, Matthew R.; Sagare, Abhay P.; Zhao, Zhen; Toga, Arthur W.; Jacobs, Russell E.; Liu, Collin Y.; Amezcua, Lilyana; Harrington, Michael G.; Chui, Helena C.; Law, Meng; Zlokovic, Berislav V.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The blood-brain barrier (BBB) limits entry of blood-derived products, pathogens and cells into the brain that is essential for normal neuronal functioning and information processing. Post-mortem tissue analysis indicates BBB damage in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The timing of BBB breakdown remains, however, elusive. Using an advanced dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging protocol with high spatial and temporal resolutions to quantify regional BBB permeability in the living human brain, we show an age-dependent BBB breakdown in the hippocampus, a region critical for learning and memory that is affected early in AD. The BBB breakdown in the hippocampus and its CA1 and dentate gyrus subdivisions worsened with mild cognitive impairment that correlated with injury to BBB-associated pericytes, as shown by the cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Our data suggest that BBB breakdown is an early event in the aging human brain that begins in the hippocampus and may contribute to cognitive impairment. PMID:25611508

  1. Lucid dreaming: an age-dependent brain dissociation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Ursula; Frenzel, Clemens; Koppehele-Gossel, Judith; Hobson, Allan

    2012-12-01

    The current study focused on the distribution of lucid dreams in school children and young adults. The survey was conducted on a large sample of students aged 6-19 years. Questions distinguished between past and current experience with lucid dreams. Results suggest that lucid dreaming is quite pronounced in young children, its incidence rate drops at about age 16 years. Increased lucidity was found in those attending higher level compared with lower level schools. Taking methodological issues into account, we feel confident to propose a link between the natural occurrence of lucid dreaming and brain maturation.

  2. Age-related hearing loss: ear and brain mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisina, Robert D

    2009-07-01

    Loss of sensory function in the aged has serious consequences for economic productivity, quality of life, and healthcare costs in the billions each year. Understanding the neural and molecular bases will pave the way for biomedical interventions to prevent, slow, or reverse these conditions. This chapter summarizes new information regarding age changes in the auditory system involving both the ear (peripheral) and brain (central). A goal is to provide findings that have implications for understanding some common biological underpinnings that affect sensory systems, providing a basis for eventual interventions to improve overall sensory functioning, including the chemical senses.

  3. Brain Plasticity and Motor Practice in Cognitive Aging

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    Liuyang eCai

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available For more than two decades, there have been extensive studies of experience-based neural plasticity exploring effective applications of brain plasticity for cognitive and motor development. Research suggests that human brains continuously undergo structural reorganization and functional changes in response to stimulations or training. From a developmental point of view, the assumption of lifespan brain plasticity has been extended to older adults in terms of the benefits of cognitive training and physical therapy. To summarize recent developments, first, we introduce the concept of neural plasticity from a developmental perspective. Secondly, we note that motor learning often refers to deliberate practice and the resulting performance enhancement and adaptability. We discuss the close interplay between neural plasticity, motor learning and cognitive aging. Thirdly, we review research on motor skill acquisition in older adults with, and without, impairments relative to aging-related cognitive decline. Finally, to enhance future research and application, we highlight the implications of neural plasticity in skills learning and cognitive rehabilitation for the aging population.

  4. Intranasal Insulin Improves Age-Related Cognitive Deficits and Reverses Electrophysiological Correlates of Brain Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maimaiti, Shaniya; Anderson, Katie L; DeMoll, Chris; Brewer, Lawrence D; Rauh, Benjamin A; Gant, John C; Blalock, Eric M; Porter, Nada M; Thibault, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Peripheral insulin resistance is a key component of metabolic syndrome associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. While the impact of insulin resistance is well recognized in the periphery, it is also becoming apparent in the brain. Recent studies suggest that insulin resistance may be a factor in brain aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) whereby intranasal insulin therapy, which delivers insulin to the brain, improves cognition and memory in AD patients. Here, we tested a clinically relevant delivery method to determine the impact of two forms of insulin, short-acting insulin lispro (Humalog) or long-acting insulin detemir (Levemir), on cognitive functions in aged F344 rats. We also explored insulin effects on the Ca(2+)-dependent hippocampal afterhyperpolarization (AHP), a well-characterized neurophysiological marker of aging which is increased in the aged, memory impaired animal. Low-dose intranasal insulin improved memory recall in aged animals such that their performance was similar to that seen in younger animals. Further, because ex vivo insulin also reduced the AHP, our results suggest that the AHP may be a novel cellular target of insulin in the brain, and improved cognitive performance following intranasal insulin therapy may be the result of insulin actions on the AHP.

  5. Auditory event-related brain potentials for an early discrimination between normal and pathological brain aging

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Juliana Dushanova; Mario Christov

    2013-01-01

    The brain as a system with gradually decreasing resources maximizes its chances by reorganizing neural networks to ensure efficient performance. Auditory event-related potentials were recorded in 28 healthy volunteers comprising 14 young and 14 elderly subjects in auditory discrimination motor task (low frequency tone – right hand movement and high frequency tone – left hand movement). The amplitudes of the sensory event-related potential components (N1, P2) were more pronounced with increasing age for either tone and this effect for P2 amplitude was more pronounced in the frontal region. The latency relationship of N1 between the groups was tone-dependent, while that of P2 was tone-independent with a prominent delay in the elderly group over all brain regions. The amplitudes of the cognitive components (N2, P3) diminished with increasing age and the hemispheric asymmetry of N2 (but not for P3) reduced with increasing age. Prolonged N2 latency with increasing age was widespread for either tone while between-group difference in P3 latency was tone-dependent. High frequency tone stimulation and movement requirements lead to P3 delay in the elderly group. The amplitude difference of the sensory components between the age groups could be due to a general greater alertness, less expressed habituation, or decline in the ability to retreat attentional resources from the stimuli in the elderly group. With aging, a neural circuit reorganization of the brain activity affects the cognitive processes. The approach used in this study is useful for an early discrimination between normal and pathological brain aging for early treatment of cognitive alterations and dementia.

  6. Non-invasive brain stimulation of the aging brain: State of the art and future perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatti, Elisa; Rossi, Simone; Innocenti, Iglis; Rossi, Alessandro; Santarnecchi, Emiliano

    2016-08-01

    Favored by increased life expectancy and reduced birth rate, worldwide demography is rapidly shifting to older ages. The golden age of aging is not only an achievement but also a big challenge because of the load of the elderly on social and medical health care systems. Moreover, the impact of age-related decline of attention, memory, reasoning and executive functions on self-sufficiency emphasizes the need of interventions to maintain cognitive abilities at a useful degree in old age. Recently, neuroscientific research explored the chance to apply Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NiBS) techniques (as transcranial electrical and magnetic stimulation) to healthy aging population to preserve or enhance physiologically-declining cognitive functions. The present review will update and address the current state of the art on NiBS in healthy aging. Feasibility of NiBS techniques will be discussed in light of recent neuroimaging (either structural or functional) and neurophysiological models proposed to explain neural substrates of the physiologically aging brain. Further, the chance to design multidisciplinary interventions to maximize the efficacy of NiBS techniques will be introduced as a necessary future direction.

  7. Deciphering the spatio-temporal expression and stress regulation of Fam107B, the paralog of the resilience-promoting protein DRR1 in the mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masana, M; Jukic, M M; Kretzschmar, A; Wagner, K V; Westerholz, S; Schmidt, M V; Rein, T; Brodski, C; Müller, M B

    2015-04-02

    Understanding the molecular mechanisms that promote stress resilience might open up new therapeutic avenues to prevent stress-related disorders. We recently characterized a stress and glucocorticoid-regulated gene, down-regulated in renal cell carcinoma - DRR1 (Fam107A). DRR1 is expressed in the mouse brain; it is up-regulated by stress and glucocorticoids and modulates neuronal actin dynamics. In the adult mouse, DRR1 was shown to facilitate specific behaviors which might be protective against some of the deleterious consequences of stress exposure: in the hippocampal CA3 region, DRR1 improved cognitive performance whereas in the septum, it specifically increased social behavior. Therefore DRR1 was suggested as a candidate protein promoting stress-resilience. Fam107B (family with sequence similarity 107, member B) is the unique paralog of DRR1, and both share high sequence similarities, predicted glucocorticoid response elements, heat-shock induction and tumor suppressor properties. So far, the role of Fam107B in the central nervous system was not studied. The aim of the present investigation, therefore, was to analyze whether Fam107B and DRR1 display comparable mRNA expression patterns in the brain and whether both are modulated by stress and glucocorticoids. Spatio-temporal mapping of Fam107B mRNA expression in the embryonic and adult mouse brain, by means of in situ hybridization, showed that Fam107B was expressed during embryogenesis and in the adulthood, with particularly high and specific expression in the forming telencephalon suggestive of an involvement in corticogenesis. In the adult mouse, expression was restricted to neurogenic niches, like the dentate gyrus. In contrast to DRR1, Fam107B mRNA expression failed to be modulated by glucocorticoids and social stress in the adult mouse. In summary, Fam107B and DRR1 show different spatio-temporal expression patterns in the central nervous system, suggesting at least partially different functional roles in

  8. Indestructible plastic: The neuroscience of the new aging brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Constance eHolman

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, research on experience-dependent plasticity has provided valuable insight on adaptation to environmental input across the lifespan, and advances in understanding the minute cellular changes underlying the brain’s capacity for self-reorganization have opened exciting new possibilities for treating illness and injury. Ongoing work in this line of inquiry has also come to deeply influence another field: the cognitive neuroscience of the normal aging. This complex process, once dubbed as inevitable or beyond the reach of treatment, has been transformed into an arena of intense investigation and strategic intervention. However, important questions remain about this characterization of the aging brain, and the assumptions it makes about the social, cultural, and biological space occupied by cognition in the older individual and body. The following paper will provide a critical examination of the move from basic experiments on the neurophysiology of experience-dependent plasticity to the growing market for (and public conception of cognitive aging as a medicalized space for intervention by neuroscience-backed technologies. Entangled with changing concepts of normality, pathology, and self-preservation, we will argue that this new understanding, led by personalized cognitive training strategies, is approaching a point where interdisciplinary research is crucial to provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of the aging process. This new outlook will allow us to move forward in a space where our knowledge, like our new conception of the brain, is never static.

  9. Brain computed tomography findings of aged schizophrenics; Comparison with healthy aged controls and aged schizophrenics with a history of psychosurgery

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    Oomori, Masao; Koshino, Yoshifumi; Murata, Tetsuhito; Murata, Ichirou; Tani, Kazuhiko; Horie, Tan; Isaki, Kiminori (Fukui Medical School, Matsuoka (Japan))

    1992-05-01

    Brain CT was performed in a total of 30 aged schizophrenic patients, consisting of 20 with no history of psychosurgery (lobotomy) and the other 10 lobotomized patients. The CT findings were compared with those from healthy aged persons. The group of schizophrenic patients had marked atrophy of the frontal lobe and dilatated Sylvian fissure as compared with the control group. There was no significant difference in ventricular factors between the two groups. These findings may have implications for the different mechanisms of the occurrence of atrophied brain surface and enlarged ventricle. The cerebral cortex involved in the occurrence of schizophrenia may be affected by aging-related cerebral atrophy, in addition to the morphological changes due to schizophrenia. Thus, schizophrenic cerebral atrophy was more noticeable than physiological aging-related atrophy. However, enlargement of the ventricle in the schizophrenic group progressed with aging in the same manner as that in the normal group. In comparing schizophrenic patients with or without a history of lobotomy, atrophy of the brain surface and enlargement of the ventricle were more marked in the lobotomized patients than the non-lobotomized patients. This confirmed that lobotomy, as well as surgical scar, is involved in the morphology of schizophrenic brain. (N.K.).

  10. Reversal of glial and neurovascular markers of unhealthy brain aging by exercise in middle-aged female mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitlin S Latimer

    Full Text Available Healthy brain aging and cognitive function are promoted by exercise. The benefits of exercise are attributed to several mechanisms, many which highlight its neuroprotective role via actions that enhance neurogenesis, neuronal morphology and/or neurotrophin release. However, the brain is also composed of glial and vascular elements, and comparatively less is known regarding the effects of exercise on these components in the aging brain. Here, we show that aerobic exercise at mid-age decreased markers of unhealthy brain aging including astrocyte hypertrophy, a hallmark of brain aging. Middle-aged female mice were assigned to a sedentary group or provided a running wheel for six weeks. Exercise decreased hippocampal astrocyte and myelin markers of aging but increased VEGF, a marker of angiogenesis. Brain vascular casts revealed exercise-induced structural modifications associated with improved endothelial function in the periphery. Our results suggest that age-related astrocyte hypertrophy/reactivity and myelin dysregulation are aggravated by a sedentary lifestyle and accompanying reductions in vascular function. However, these effects appear reversible with exercise initiated at mid-age. As this period of the lifespan coincides with the appearance of multiple markers of brain aging, including initial signs of cognitive decline, it may represent a window of opportunity for intervention as the brain appears to still possess significant vascular plasticity. These results may also have particular implications for aging females who are more susceptible than males to certain risk factors which contribute to vascular aging.

  11. Influence of Patient Age on Angioarchitecture of Brain Arteriovenous Malformations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hetts, Steven W.; Cooke, Daniel L.; Nelson, Jeffrey; Gupta, Nalin; Fullerton, Heather; Amans, Matthew R.; Narvid, Jared A.; Moftakhar, Parham; McSwain, Hugh; Dowd, Christopher F.; Higashida, Randall T.; Halbach, Van V.; Lawton, Michael T.; Kim, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose To determine if clinical and angioarchitectural features of brain AVMs differ between children and adults. Materials and Methods A prospectively collected institutional database of all patients diagnosed with brain AVMs since 2001 was queried. Demographic, clinical, and angioarchitecture information was summarized and analyzed with univariable and multivariable models. Results Results often differed when age was treated as a continuous variable as opposed to dividing subjects into children (≤18 years; n=203) versus adults (>18 years; n=630). Children were more likely to present with AVM hemorrhage than adults (59% vs. 41%, p6 cm compared to 37.1 years for <3 cm), this was not significantly different between children and adults (p=0.069). Exclusively deep venous drainage was more common in younger subjects both when age was treated continuously (p=0.04), or dichotomized (p<0.001). Venous ectasia was more common with increasing age (mean, 39.4 years with ectasia compared to 31.1 years without ectasia) and when adults were compared to children (52% vs. 35%, p<0.001). Patients with feeding artery aneurysms presented at later average age (44.1 years) than those without such aneurysms (31.6 years); this observation persisted when comparing children to adults (13% vs. 29%, p<0.001). Conclusion Although children with brain AVMs were more likely to come to clinical attention due to hemorrhage than adults, venous ectasia and feeding artery aneurysms were underrepresented in children, suggesting that these particular high risk features take time to develop. PMID:24627452

  12. Prognostic significance of age in traumatic brain injury

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    S S Dhandapani

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Age is a strong prognostic factor following traumatic brain injury (TBI, with discrepancies defining the critical prognostic age threshold. This study was undertaken to determine the impact of various age thresholds on outcome after TBI. Materials and Methods : The ages of patients admitted with TBI were prospectively studied in relation to mode of injury, Glasgow coma score (GCS, CT category and surgical intervention. Mortality was assessed at 1 month, and neurological outcome was assessed at 6 months. Appropriate statistical analyzes (details in article were performed. Results: Of the total 244 patients enrolled, 144 patients had severe, 38 patients had moderate and 62 patients had mild TBI, respectively. Age had significant association with grade of injury, CT category and surgical intervention (P 59 years respectively (P 40 years in all subgroups, based on GCS and surgical intervention (P < 0.05. Conclusions : In patients with TBI, age demonstrates independent association with unfavorable outcome at 6 months, in stepwise manner centered on a threshold of 40 years.

  13. Advanced BrainAGE in older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja eFranke

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Aging alters brain structure and function and diabetes mellitus (DM may accelerate this process. This study investigated the effects of type 2 DM on individual brain aging as well as the relationships between individual brain aging, risk factors and functional measures. To differentiate a pattern of brain atrophy that deviates from normal brain aging, we used the novel BrainAGE approach, which determines the complex multidimensional aging pattern within the whole brain by applying established kernel regression methods to anatomical brain MRIs. The Brain Age Gap Estimation (i.e., BrainAGE score was then calculated as the difference between chronological age and estimated brain age. 185 subjects (98 with type 2 DM completed an MRI at 3T, laboratory and clinical assessments. Twenty-five subjects (12 with type 2 DM also completed a follow-up visit after 3.8 ± 1.5 years. The estimated brain age of DM subjects was 4.6 ± 7.2 years greater than their chronological age (p = 0.0001, whereas within the control group, estimated brain age was similar to chronological age. As compared to baseline, the average BrainAGE scores of DM subjects increased by 0.2 years per follow-up year (p = 0.034, whereas the BrainAGE scores of controls did not change between baseline and follow-up. At baseline, across all subjects, higher BrainAGE scores were associated with greater smoking and alcohol consumption, higher tumor necrosis factor (TNFα levels, lower verbal fluency scores and more severe depression. Within the DM group, higher BrainAGE scores were associated with longer diabetes duration (r = 0.31, p = 0.019 and increased fasting blood glucose levels (r = 0.34, p = 0.025. In conclusion, type 2 DM is independently associated with structural changes in the brain that reflect advanced aging. The BrainAGE approach may thus serve as a clinically relevant biomarker for the detection of abnormal patterns of brain aging associated with type 2 DM.

  14. Rapamycin suppresses brain aging in senescence-accelerated OXYS rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolosova, Nataliya G; Vitovtov, Anton O; Muraleva, Natalia A; Akulov, Andrey E; Stefanova, Natalia A; Blagosklonny, Mikhail V

    2013-06-01

    Cellular and organismal aging are driven in part by the MTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) pathway and rapamycin extends life span inC elegans, Drosophila and mice. Herein, we investigated effects of rapamycin on brain aging in OXYS rats. Previously we found, in OXYS rats, an early development of age-associated pathological phenotypes similar to several geriatric disorders in humans, including cerebral dysfunctions. Behavioral alterations as well as learning and memory deficits develop by 3 months. Here we show that rapamycin treatment (0.1 or 0.5 mg/kg as a food mixture daily from the age of 1.5 to 3.5 months) decreased anxiety and improved locomotor and exploratory behavior in OXYS rats. In untreated OXYS rats, MRI revealed an increase of the area of hippocampus, substantial hydrocephalus and 2-fold increased area of the lateral ventricles. Rapamycin treatment prevented these abnormalities, erasing the difference between OXYS and Wister rats (used as control). All untreated OXYS rats showed signs of neurodegeneration, manifested by loci of demyelination. Rapamycin decreased the percentage of animals with demyelination and the number of loci. Levels of Tau and phospho-Tau (T181) were increased in OXYS rats (compared with Wistar). Rapamycin significantly decreased Tau and inhibited its phosphorylation in the hippocampus of OXYS and Wistar rats. Importantly, rapamycin treatment caused a compensatory increase in levels of S6 and correspondingly levels of phospo-S6 in the frontal cortex, indicating that some downstream events were compensatory preserved, explaining the lack of toxicity. We conclude that rapamycin in low chronic doses can suppress brain aging.

  15. Using autopsy brain tissue to study alcohol-related brain damage in the genomic age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, Greg T; Sheedy, Donna; Kril, Jillian J

    2014-01-01

    The New South Wales Tissue Resource Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia, is one of the few human brain banks dedicated to the study of the effects of chronic alcoholism. The bank was affiliated in 1994 as a member of the National Network of Brain Banks and also focuses on schizophrenia and healthy control tissue. Alcohol abuse is a major problem worldwide, manifesting in such conditions as fetal alcohol syndrome, adolescent binge drinking, alcohol dependency, and alcoholic neurodegeneration. The latter is also referred to as alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD). The study of postmortem brain tissue is ideally suited to determining the effects of long-term alcohol abuse, but it also makes an important contribution to understanding pathogenesis across the spectrum of alcohol misuse disorders and potentially other neurodegenerative diseases. Tissue from the bank has contributed to 330 peer-reviewed journal articles including 120 related to alcohol research. Using the results of these articles, this review chronicles advances in alcohol-related brain research since 2003, the so-called genomic age. In particular, it concentrates on transcriptomic approaches to the pathogenesis of ARBD and builds on earlier reviews of structural changes (Harper et al. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2003;27:951) and proteomics (Matsumoto et al. Expert Rev Proteomics 2007;4:539).

  16. Microglial cell dysregulation in Brain Aging and Neurodegeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rommy eVon Bernhardi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Aging is the main risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. In aging, microglia undergo phenotypic changes compatible with their activation. Glial activation can lead to neuroinflammation, which is increasingly accepted as part of the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD. We hypothesize that in aging, aberrant microglia activation leads to a deleterious environment and neurodegeneration. In aged mice, microglia exhibit an increased expression of cytokines and an exacerbated inflammatory response to pathological changes. Whereas LPS increases nitric oxide secretion in microglia from young mice, induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS predominates in older mice. Furthermore, there is accumulation of DNA oxidative damage in mitochondria of microglia during aging, and also an increased intracellular ROS production. Increased ROS activates the redox-sensitive nuclear factor kappa B, which promotes more neuroinflammation, and can be translated in functional deficits, such as cognitive impairment. Mitochondria-derived ROS and cathepsin B, are also necessary for the microglial cell production of interleukin-1β, a key inflammatory cytokine. Interestingly, whereas the regulatory cytokine TGFβ1 is also increased in the aged brain, neuroinflammation persists. Assessing this apparent contradiction, we have reported that TGFβ1 induction and activation of Smad3 signaling after inflammatory stimulation are reduced in adult mice. Other protective functions, such as phagocytosis, although observed in aged animals, become not inducible by inflammatory stimuli and TGFβ1. Here, we discuss data suggesting that mitochondrial and endolysosomal dysfunction could at least partially mediate age-associated microglial cell changes, and, together with the impairment of the TGFβ1-Smad3 pathway, could result in a reduction of protective activation and a facilitation of cytotoxic activation of microglia, resulting in the

  17. Changes in intracellular calcium in brain cells of aged rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yu Li; Yunpeng Cao

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that voltage-dependent calcium influx, and enhancement of certain calcium-dependent processes in neurons, is related to aging. OBJECTIVE: To observe changes in intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) in neurons of aged rats, and to compare with young rats. DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: A randomized control experiment of neurophysiology was performed at the Central Laboratory of School of Pharmaceutical Science, China Medical University from June to August 2004. MATERIALS: Ten male, healthy, Wistar rats, 19 months old, were selected for the aged group. Ten male, 3-month-old, Wistar rats were selected for the young control group. Fura-2/AM was provided by the Institute of Pharmaceutical Research of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and the F-2000 fluorospectrophotometer was a product of Hitachi, Japan. METHODS: Fluorescence Fura-2 spectrophotometer was used to measure [Ca2+]i in acutely dissociated brain cells of aged and young rats. The concentration of extracellular potassium was controlled by adding different volumes of chloridated potassium solution of high concentration. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: [Ca2+]i in neurons of young and aged rats in the presence of 1 mmol/L extracellular calcium concentration and 0 mmol/L (resting state), 5, 10, 20, and 40 mmol/L extracellular potassium. Absolute increase of [Ca2+]i in neurons of young and aged rats when extraceUular potassium was 5,10,20, 40 mmol/L. RESULTS: In the presence of 1 mmol/L extracellular Ca2+ and 0 mmol/L (resting state), 5, 10, 20, and 40 mmol/L extracellular potassium, [Ca2+]i in the neurons of aged rats was significantly less than that in young rats (P 0.05). CONCLUSION: The overload of [Ca2+]i in neurons of aged rats is greater than that of young rats under the same circumstances.

  18. Oxidative stress, aging, and central nervous system disease in the canine model of human brain aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Elizabeth; Rofina, Jaime; Zicker, Steven

    2008-01-01

    Decline in cognitive functions that accompany aging in dogs may have a biologic basis, and many of the disorders associated with aging in dogs may be mitigated through dietary modifications that incorporate specific nutraceuticals. Based on previous research and the results of laboratory and clinical studies, antioxidants may be one class of nutraceutical that provides benefits to aged dogs. Brains of aged dogs accumulate oxidative damage to proteins and lipids, which may lead to dysfunction of neuronal cells. The production of free radicals and lack of increase in compensatory antioxidant enzymes may lead to detrimental modifications to important macromolecules within neurons. Reducing oxidative damage through food ingredients rich in a broad spectrum of antioxidants significantly improves, or slows the decline of, learning and memory in aged dogs.

  19. Age-related changes of task-specific brain activity in normal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Ming-Chung; Chou, Chia-Yi; Huang, Chin-Fei; Lin, Yu-Te; Shih, Ching-Sen; Han, Shiang-Yi; Shen, Ming-Hsun; Chen, Tsung-Ching; Liang, Chi-lin; Lu, Ming-Chi; Liu, Chia-Ju

    2012-01-17

    An important question in healthcare for older patients is whether age-related changes in cortical reorganization can be measured with advancing age. This study investigated the factors behind such age-related changes, using time-frequency analysis of event-related potentials (ERPs). We hypothesized that brain rhythms was affected by age-related changes, which could be reflected in the ERP indices. An oddball task was conducted in two experimental groups, namely young participants (N=15; mean age 23.7±2.8 years) and older participants (N=15; mean age 70.1±7.9 years). Two types of stimuli were used: the target (1 kHz frequency) and standard (2 kHz frequency). We scrutinized three ERP indices: event-related spectral power (ERPSP), inter-trial phase-locking (ITPL), and event-related cross-phase coherence (ERPCOH). Both groups performed equally well for correct response rate. However, the results revealed a statistically significant age difference for inter-trial comparison. Compared with the young, the older participants showed the following age-related changes: (a) power activity decreased; however, an increase was found only in the late (P3, 280-450 ms) theta (4-7 Hz) component over the bilateral frontal and temporo-frontal areas; (b) low phase-locking in the early (N1, 80-140 ms) theta band over the parietal/frontal (right) regions appeared; (c) the functional connections decreased in the alpha (7-13 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) bands, but no difference emerged in the theta band between the two groups. These results indicate that age-related changes in task-specific brain activity for a normal aging population can be depicted using the three ERP indices.

  20. Age sensitivity of behavioral tests and brain substrates of normal aging in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennard, John A; Woodruff-Pak, Diana S

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge of age sensitivity, the capacity of a behavioral test to reliably detect age-related changes, has utility in the design of experiments to elucidate processes of normal aging. We review the application of these tests in studies of normal aging and compare and contrast the age sensitivity of the Barnes maze, eyeblink classical conditioning, fear conditioning, Morris water maze, and rotorod. These tests have all been implemented to assess normal age-related changes in learning and memory in rodents, which generalize in many cases to age-related changes in learning and memory in all mammals, including humans. Behavioral assessments are a valuable means to measure functional outcomes of neuroscientific studies of aging. Highlighted in this review are the attributes and limitations of these measures in mice in the context of age sensitivity and processes of brain aging. Attributes of these tests include reliability and validity as assessments of learning and memory, well-defined neural substrates, and sensitivity to neural and pharmacological manipulations and disruptions. These tests engage the hippocampus and/or the cerebellum, two structures centrally involved in learning and memory that undergo functional and anatomical changes in normal aging. A test that is less well represented in studies of normal aging, the context pre-exposure facilitation effect (CPFE) in fear conditioning, is described as a method to increase sensitivity of contextual fear conditioning to changes in the hippocampus. Recommendations for increasing the age sensitivity of all measures of normal aging in mice are included, as well as a discussion of the potential of the under-studied CPFE to advance understanding of subtle hippocampus-mediated phenomena.

  1. Age Sensitivity of Behavioral Tests and Brain Substrates of Normal Aging in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John A. Kennard

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of age sensitivity, the capacity of a behavioral test to reliably detect age-related changes, has utility in the design of experiments to elucidate processes of normal aging. We review the application of these tests in studies of normal aging and compare and contrast the age sensitivity of the Barnes maze, eyeblink classical conditioning, fear conditioning, Morris water maze and rotorod. These tests have all been implemented to assess normal age-related changes in learning and memory in rodents, which generalize in many cases to age-related changes in learning and memory in all mammals, including humans. Behavioral assessments are a valuable means to measure functional outcomes of neuroscientific studies of aging. Highlighted in this review are the attributes and limitations of these measures in mice in the context of age sensitivity and processes of brain aging. Attributes of these tests include reliability and validity as assessments of learning and memory, well-defined neural substrates, and sensitivity to neural and pharmacological manipulations and disruptions. These tests engage the hippocampus and/or the cerebellum, two structures centrally involved in learning and memory that undergo functional and anatomical changes in normal aging. A test that is less well represented in studies of normal aging, the context pre-exposure facilitation effect (CPFE in fear conditioning, is described as a method to increase sensitivity of contextual fear conditioning to changes in the hippocampus. Recommendations for increasing the age sensitivity of all measures of normal aging in mice are included, as well as a discussion of the potential of the under-studied CPFE to advance understanding of subtle hippocampus-mediated phenomena.

  2. Hemispherical dominance of glucose metabolic rate in the brain of the 'normal' ageing population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cutts, DA; Maguire, RP; Leenders, KL; Spyrou, NM

    2004-01-01

    In the 'normal' ageing brain a decrease in the cerebral metabolic rate has been determined across many brain regions. This study determines whether age differences would affect metabolic rates in regions and different hemispheres of the brain. The regional metabolic rate of glucose (rCMRGlu) was exa

  3. Genetic Determinants of Cognitive Function and Age-Related Brain Changes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Schuur (Maaike)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractThe brain is by far the most complicated structure of the human being, and its malfunction is characterized by various degrees and types of morbidity. Several brain functions deteriorate with increasing age during life. Cognitive decline and age-related brain pathology are common in the

  4. Prion protein accumulation in lipid rafts of mouse aging brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Agostini

    Full Text Available The cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C is a normal constituent of neuronal cell membranes. The protein misfolding causes rare neurodegenerative disorders known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious. Sporadic prion diseases are the most common form mainly affecting aging people. In this work, we investigate the biochemical environment in which sporadic prion diseases may develop, focusing our attention on the cell membrane of neurons in the aging brain. It is well established that with aging the ratio between the most abundant lipid components of rafts undergoes a major change: while cholesterol decreases, sphingomyelin content rises. Our results indicate that the aging process modifies the compartmentalization of PrP(C. In old mice, this change favors PrP(C accumulation in detergent-resistant membranes, particularly in hippocampi. To confirm the relationship between lipid content changes and PrP(C translocation into detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs, we looked at PrP(C compartmentalization in hippocampi from acid sphingomyelinase (ASM knockout (KO mice and synaptosomes enriched in sphingomyelin. In the presence of high sphingomyelin content, we observed a significant increase of PrP(C in DRMS. This process is not due to higher levels of total protein and it could, in turn, favor the onset of sporadic prion diseases during aging as it increases the PrP intermolecular contacts into lipid rafts. We observed that lowering sphingomyelin in scrapie-infected cells by using fumonisin B1 led to a 50% decrease in protease-resistant PrP formation. This may suggest an involvement of PrP lipid environment in prion formation and consequently it may play a role in the onset or development of sporadic forms of prion diseases.

  5. BrainAGE in Mild Cognitive Impaired Patients: Predicting the Conversion to Alzheimer's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Gaser

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD, the most common form of dementia, shares many aspects of abnormal brain aging. We present a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI-based biomarker that predicts the individual progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI to AD on the basis of pathological brain aging patterns. By employing kernel regression methods, the expression of normal brain-aging patterns forms the basis to estimate the brain age of a given new subject. If the estimated age is higher than the chronological age, a positive brain age gap estimation (BrainAGE score indicates accelerated atrophy and is considered a risk factor for conversion to AD. Here, the BrainAGE framework was applied to predict the individual brain ages of 195 subjects with MCI at baseline, of which a total of 133 developed AD during 36 months of follow-up (corresponding to a pre-test probability of 68%. The ability of the BrainAGE framework to correctly identify MCI-converters was compared with the performance of commonly used cognitive scales, hippocampus volume, and state-of-the-art biomarkers derived from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF. With accuracy rates of up to 81%, BrainAGE outperformed all cognitive scales and CSF biomarkers in predicting conversion of MCI to AD within 3 years of follow-up. Each additional year in the BrainAGE score was associated with a 10% greater risk of developing AD (hazard rate: 1.10 [CI: 1.07-1.13]. Furthermore, the post-test probability was increased to 90% when using baseline BrainAGE scores to predict conversion to AD. The presented framework allows an accurate prediction even with multicenter data. Its fast and fully automated nature facilitates the integration into the clinical workflow. It can be exploited as a tool for screening as well as for monitoring treatment options.

  6. Predicting healthy older adult's brain age based on structural connectivity networks using artificial neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Lan; Jin, Cong; Fu, Zhenrong; Zhang, Baiwen; Bin, Guangyu; Wu, Shuicai

    2016-03-01

    Brain ageing is followed by changes of the connectivity of white matter (WM) and changes of the grey matter (GM) concentration. Neurodegenerative disease is more vulnerable to an accelerated brain ageing, which is associated with prospective cognitive decline and disease severity. Accurate detection of accelerated ageing based on brain network analysis has a great potential for early interventions designed to hinder atypical brain changes. To capture the brain ageing, we proposed a novel computational approach for modeling the 112 normal older subjects (aged 50-79 years) brain age by connectivity analyses of networks of the brain. Our proposed method applied principal component analysis (PCA) to reduce the redundancy in network topological parameters. Back propagation artificial neural network (BPANN) improved by hybrid genetic algorithm (GA) and Levenberg-Marquardt (LM) algorithm is established to model the relation among principal components (PCs) and brain age. The predicted brain age is strongly correlated with chronological age (r=0.8). The model has mean absolute error (MAE) of 4.29 years. Therefore, we believe the method can provide a possible way to quantitatively describe the typical and atypical network organization of human brain and serve as a biomarker for presymptomatic detection of neurodegenerative diseases in the future.

  7. Dedifferentiation of emotion regulation strategies in the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Bruna; Ponzio, Allison; Velasco, Ricardo; Kaplan, Jonas; Mather, Mara

    2015-06-01

    Different emotion regulation strategies are distinctly represented in the brains of younger adults. Decreasing a reaction to a negative situation by reinterpreting it (reappraisal) relies on cognitive control regions in the prefrontal cortex, while distracting away from a stressor involves more posterior medial structures. In this study, we used Multi-Voxel pattern analyses (MVPA) to examine whether reappraisal and distraction strategies have distinct representations in the older adult brain, or whether emotion regulation strategies become more dedifferentiated in later life. MVPA better differentiated the two emotion regulation strategies for younger adults than for older adults, and revealed the greatest age-related differences in differentiation in the posterior medial cortex (PMC). Univariate analyses revealed equal PMC recruitment across strategies for older adults, but greater activity during distraction than reappraisal for younger adults. The PMC is central to self-focused processing, and thus our findings are consistent with the possibility that focusing on the self may be a default mechanism across emotion regulation strategies for older people.

  8. Age- and brain region-dependent α-synuclein oligomerization is attributed to alterations in intrinsic enzymes regulating α-synuclein phosphorylation in aging monkey brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Min; Yang, Weiwei; Li, Xin; Li, Xuran; Wang, Peng; Yue, Feng; Yang, Hui; Chan, Piu; Yu, Shun

    2016-02-23

    We previously reported that the levels of α-syn oligomers, which play pivotal pathogenic roles in age-related Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies, increase heterogeneously in the aging brain. Here, we show that exogenous α-syn incubated with brain extracts from older cynomolgus monkeys and in Lewy body pathology (LBP)-susceptible brain regions (striatum and hippocampus) forms higher amounts of phosphorylated and oligomeric α-syn than that in extracts from younger monkeys and LBP-insusceptible brain regions (cerebellum and occipital cortex). The increased α-syn phosphorylation and oligomerization in the brain extracts from older monkeys and in LBP-susceptible brain regions were associated with higher levels of polo-like kinase 2 (PLK2), an enzyme promoting α-syn phosphorylation, and lower activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), an enzyme inhibiting α-syn phosphorylation, in these brain extracts. Further, the extent of the age- and brain-dependent increase in α-syn phosphorylation and oligomerization was reduced by inhibition of PLK2 and activation of PP2A. Inversely, phosphorylated α-syn oligomers reduced the activity of PP2A and showed potent cytotoxicity. In addition, the activity of GCase and the levels of ceramide, a product of GCase shown to activate PP2A, were lower in brain extracts from older monkeys and in LBP-susceptible brain regions. Our results suggest a role for altered intrinsic metabolic enzymes in age- and brain region-dependent α-syn oligomerization in aging brains.

  9. High-field proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals metabolic effects of normal brain aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Janna L; Yeh, Hung-Wen; Swerdlow, Russell H; Choi, In-Young; Lee, Phil; Brooks, William M

    2014-07-01

    Altered brain metabolism is likely to be an important contributor to normal cognitive decline and brain pathology in elderly individuals. To characterize the metabolic changes associated with normal brain aging, we used high-field proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in vivo to quantify 20 neurochemicals in the hippocampus and sensorimotor cortex of young adult and aged rats. We found significant differences in the neurochemical profile of the aged brain when compared with younger adults, including lower aspartate, ascorbate, glutamate, and macromolecules, and higher glucose, myo-inositol, N-acetylaspartylglutamate, total choline, and glutamine. These neurochemical biomarkers point to specific cellular mechanisms that are altered in brain aging, such as bioenergetics, oxidative stress, inflammation, cell membrane turnover, and endogenous neuroprotection. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy may be a valuable translational approach for studying mechanisms of brain aging and pathology, and for investigating treatments to preserve or enhance cognitive function in aging.

  10. Trajectories of brain aging in middle-aged and older adults: regional and individual differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raz, Naftali; Ghisletta, Paolo; Rodrigue, Karen M; Kennedy, Kristen M; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2010-06-01

    The human brain changes with age. However, the rate and the trajectories of change vary among the brain regions and among individuals, and the reasons for these differences are unclear. In a sample of healthy middle-aged and older adults, we examined mean volume change and individual differences in the rate of change in 12 regional brain volumes over approximately 30 months. In addition to the baseline assessment, there were two follow-ups, 15 months apart. We observed significant average shrinkage of the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, orbital-frontal cortex, and cerebellum in each of the intervals. Shrinkage of the hippocampus accelerated with time, whereas shrinkage of the caudate nucleus, prefrontal subcortical white matter, and corpus callosum emerged only at the second follow-up. Throughout both assessment intervals, the mean volumes of the lateral prefrontal and primary visual cortices, putamen, and pons did not change. Significant individual differences in shrinkage rates were observed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the cerebellum, and all the white matter regions throughout the study, whereas additional regions (medial-temporal structures, the insula, and the basal ganglia) showed significant individual variation in change during the second follow-up. No individual variability was noted in the change of orbital frontal and visual cortices. In two white matter regions, we were able to identify factors associated with individual differences in brain shrinkage. In corpus callosum, shrinkage rate was greater in persons with hypertension, and in the pons, women and carriers of the ApoEepsilon4 allele exhibited declines not noted in the whole sample.

  11. Age- and Brain Region-Specific Differences in Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in Brown Norway Rats

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Differences in various mitochondrial bioenergetics parameters in different brain regions in different age groups. This dataset is associated with the following...

  12. Montefiore-Einstein Center for the Aging Brain: Preliminary Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verghese, Joe; Malik, Rubina; Zwerling, Jessica

    2016-11-01

    Given the multifaceted nature of dementia care management, an interdisciplinary comprehensive clinical approach is necessary. We describe our one-year experience with outpatient based dementia care at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for the Aging Brain (CAB) involving an multispecialty team of geriatricians, neurologists, and neuropsychologists, supported by geriatric psychiatrists, physiatrists, and social services. The goals of the CAB is to maximize dementia outcomes, including regular monitoring of patient's health and cognition, education and support to patients, their families and caregivers; initiation of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments as appropriate, and the facilitation of access to clinical trials. The CAB follows a consultative model where patients referred to the center receive a comprehensive three step evaluation and management plan from Geriatric, Neuropsychology and Neurology specialists that is shared with patient, caregivers and primary care physicians. Of the 366 patients seen for cognitive complaints in our first year, 71% were women with a mean age of 74 years. Self-identified ethnicity of patients included Caucasian (26%), African-American (25%), Hispanic (18%) and multiracial (5%). Common final diagnoses assigned at the CAB included mild cognitive impairment syndromes (31%), Alzheimer's disease (20%), mixed dementia (11%), vascular dementia (9%), Frontotemporal dementia (4%) and dementia with Lewy bodies (4%). Our one-year progress report indicates that an interdisciplinary clinical dementia care model is feasible in the outpatient setting as well as highly accepted by patients, caregivers and referring physicians.

  13. Age-related changes of normal adult brain structure: analysed with diffusion tensor imaging

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yun-ting; ZHANG Chun-yan; ZHANG Jing; LI Wei

    2005-01-01

    Background It is known that the brain structure changes with normal aging. The objective of this study was to quantify the anisotropy and average diffusion coefficient (DCavg) of the brain in normal adults to demonstrate the microstructure changes of brain with aging.Methods One hundred and six normal adults were examined with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The fractional anisotropy (FA), 1-volume ratio (1-VR), relative anisotropy (RA) and average diffusion coefficient (DCavg) of different anatomic sites of brain were measured, correlated with age and compared among three broad age groups.Results Except in lentiform nucleus, the anisotropy increased and DCavg decreased with aging. Both anisotropy and DCavg of lentiform nucleus increased with aging. The normal reference values of DTI parameters of normal Chinese adult in major anatomic sites were acquired. Conclusions DTI data obtained noninvasively can reflect the microstructural changes with aging. The normal reference values acquired can serve as reference standards in differentiation of brain white matter diseases.

  14. Deciphering Journal Abbreviations with JAbbr

    OpenAIRE

    Keith Jenkins

    2009-01-01

    JAbbr is an online tool developed at Cornell University to help users decipher journal title abbreviations. This article discusses why these abbreviations are so problematic, and how traditional tools are often insufficient, and then describes the novel approach used by JAbbr. Given an abbreviation, JAbbr creates a regular expression for fuzzy matching, tests it against a list of serial titles extracted from the library catalog, and returns a list of possible matches to the user. JAbbr is ava...

  15. Deciphering infant mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berrut, Sylvie; Pouillard, Violette; Richmond, Peter; Roehner, Bertrand M.

    2016-12-01

    This paper is about infant mortality. In line with reliability theory, "infant" refers to the time interval following birth during which the mortality (or failure) rate decreases. This definition provides a systems science perspective in which birth constitutes a sudden transition falling within the field of application of the Transient Shock (TS) conjecture put forward in Richmond and Roehner (2016c). This conjecture provides predictions about the timing and shape of the death rate peak. It says that there will be a death rate spike whenever external conditions change abruptly and drastically and also predicts that after a steep rise there will be a much longer hyperbolic relaxation process. These predictions can be tested by considering living organisms for which the transient shock occurs several days after birth. Thus, for fish there are three stages: egg, yolk-sac and young adult phases. The TS conjecture predicts a mortality spike at the end of the yolk-sac phase and this timing is indeed confirmed by observation. Secondly, the hyperbolic nature of the relaxation process can be tested using very accurate Swiss statistics for postnatal death rates spanning the period from one hour immediately after birth through to age 10 years. It turns out that since the 19th century despite a significant and large reduction in infant mortality, the shape of the age-specific death rate has remained basically unchanged. Moreover the hyperbolic pattern observed for humans is also found for small primates as recorded in the archives of zoological gardens. Our overall objective is to identify a series of cases which start from simple systems and move step by step to more complex organisms. The cases discussed here we believe represent initial landmarks in this quest.

  16. The relevance of aging-related changes in brain function to rehabilitation in aging-related disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce eCrosson

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The effects of aging on rehabilitation of aging-related diseases are rarely a design consideration in rehabilitation research. In this brief review we present strong coincidental evidence from these two fields suggesting that deficits in aging-related disease or injury are compounded by the interaction between aging-related brain changes and disease-related brain changes. Specifically, we hypothesize that some aphasia, motor, and neglect treatments using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS in stroke patients may address the aging side of this interaction. The importance of testing this hypothesis and addressing the larger aging by aging-related disease interaction is discussed. Underlying mechanisms in aging that most likely are relevant to rehabilitation of aging-related diseases also are covered.

  17. The relevance of aging-related changes in brain function to rehabilitation in aging-related disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosson, Bruce; McGregor, Keith M; Nocera, Joe R; Drucker, Jonathan H; Tran, Stella M; Butler, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    The effects of aging on rehabilitation of aging-related diseases are rarely a design consideration in rehabilitation research. In this brief review we present strong coincidental evidence from these two fields suggesting that deficits in aging-related disease or injury are compounded by the interaction between aging-related brain changes and disease-related brain changes. Specifically, we hypothesize that some aphasia, motor, and neglect treatments using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in stroke patients may address the aging side of this interaction. The importance of testing this hypothesis and addressing the larger aging by aging-related disease interaction is discussed. Underlying mechanisms in aging that most likely are relevant to rehabilitation of aging-related diseases also are covered.

  18. Human subcortical brain asymmetries in 15,847 people worldwide reveal effects of age and sex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zwiers, M.P.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Fernandez, G.S.E.; Flor, H.; Fouche, J.P.; Frouin, V.; Wolfers, T.; Fisher, S.E.; Francks, C.

    2016-01-01

    The two hemispheres of the human brain differ functionally and structurally. Despite over a century of research, the extent to which brain asymmetry is influenced by sex, handedness, age, and genetic factors is still controversial. Here we present the largest ever analysis of subcortical brain asymm

  19. Multiple Brain Markers are Linked to Age-Related Variation in Cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedden, Trey; Schultz, Aaron P; Rieckmann, Anna; Mormino, Elizabeth C; Johnson, Keith A; Sperling, Reisa A; Buckner, Randy L

    2016-04-01

    Age-related alterations in brain structure and function have been challenging to link to cognition due to potential overlapping influences of multiple neurobiological cascades. We examined multiple brain markers associated with age-related variation in cognition. Clinically normal older humans aged 65-90 from the Harvard Aging Brain Study (N = 186) were characterized on a priori magnetic resonance imaging markers of gray matter thickness and volume, white matter hyperintensities, fractional anisotropy (FA), resting-state functional connectivity, positron emission tomography markers of glucose metabolism and amyloid burden, and cognitive factors of processing speed, executive function, and episodic memory. Partial correlation and mediation analyses estimated age-related variance in cognition shared with individual brain markers and unique to each marker. The largest relationships linked FA and striatum volume to processing speed and executive function, and hippocampal volume to episodic memory. Of the age-related variance in cognition, 70-80% was accounted for by combining all brain markers (but only ∼20% of total variance). Age had significant indirect effects on cognition via brain markers, with significant markers varying across cognitive domains. These results suggest that most age-related variation in cognition is shared among multiple brain markers, but potential specificity between some brain markers and cognitive domains motivates additional study of age-related markers of neural health.

  20. Associations between regional brain volumes at term-equivalent age and development at 2 years of age in preterm children

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lind, Annika [Turku University Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Turku (Finland); Aabo Akademi University, Department of Psychology, Turku (Finland); Parkkola, Riitta [University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Department of Radiology and Turku PET Center, PO Box 52, Turku (Finland); Lehtonen, Liisa; Maunu, Jonna; Lapinleimu, Helena [University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Turku (Finland); Munck, Petriina [Turku University Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Turku (Finland); University of Turku, Department of Psychology, Turku (Finland); Haataja, Leena [University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Department of Pediatric Neurology, Turku (Finland)

    2011-08-15

    Altered brain volumes and associations between volumes and developmental outcomes have been reported in prematurely born children. To assess which regional brain volumes are different in very low birth weight (VLBW) children without neurodevelopmental impairments ([NDI] cerebral palsy, hearing loss, blindness and significantly delayed cognitive performance) compared with VLBW children with NDI, and to evaluate the association between regional brain volumes at term-equivalent age and cognitive development and neurological performance at a corrected age of 2 years. The study group consisted of a regional cohort of 164 VLBW children, divided into one group of children without NDI (n = 148) and one group of children with NDI (n = 16). Brain (MRI) was performed at term-equivalent age, from which brain volumes were manually analysed. Cognitive development was assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (BSID-II), and neurological performance with the Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination at the corrected age of 2 years. The volumes of total brain tissue, cerebrum, frontal lobes, basal ganglia and thalami, and cerebellum were significantly smaller, and the volume of the ventricles significantly larger, in the children with NDI than in those without NDI. Even in children without NDI, a smaller cerebellar volume was significantly correlated with poor neurological performance at 2 years of corrected age. Volumetric analysis at brain MRI can provide an additional parameter for early prediction of outcome in VLBW children. (orig.)

  1. Effects of tetrahydroxystilbene - glucoside on Animal Models of Dementia or Brain Aging

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LinLi; JinChu; LiLiu; LingZhao; LanZhang

    2004-01-01

    Aim: To investigate the effects of 2, 3, 5, 4'-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-β-D-glucoside(TSG) from a Chinese Medicinal Herb polygonum multiflorum on dementia or brain aging. Methods. The brain aging model of mice was developed by s. c. injection of D-galactose (50mg/kg/day) for 60 days. The Alzheimer disease (AD) model of mice

  2. Brain Na+, K+-ATPase Activity In Aging and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lores Arnaiz, Georgina Rodríguez; Ordieres, María Graciela López

    2014-01-01

    , enzyme changes in diverse neurological diseases as well as during aging, have been summarized. Issues refer mainly to Na+, K+-ATPase studies in ischemia, brain injury, depression and mood disorders, mania, stress, Alzheimer´s disease, learning and memory, and neuronal hyperexcitability and epilepsy. PMID:25018677

  3. Metabolomics of human brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jové, Mariona; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Naudí, Alba; Ferrer, Isidre; Pamplona, Reinald

    2014-07-01

    Neurons in the mature human central nervous system (CNS) perform a wide range of motor, sensory, regulatory, behavioral, and cognitive functions. Such diverse functional output requires a great diversity of CNS neuronal and non-neuronal populations. Metabolomics encompasses the study of the complete set of metabolites/low-molecular-weight intermediates (metabolome), which are context-dependent and vary according to the physiology, developmental state, or pathologic state of the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. Therefore, the use of metabolomics can help to unravel the diversity-and to disclose the specificity-of metabolic traits and their alterations in the brain and in fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid and plasma, thus helping to uncover potential biomarkers of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review the current applications of metabolomics in studies of CNS aging and certain age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurometabolomics will increase knowledge of the physiologic and pathologic functions of neural cells and will place the concept of selective neuronal vulnerability in a metabolic context.

  4. Deciphering Journal Abbreviations with JAbbr

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith Jenkins

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available JAbbr is an online tool developed at Cornell University to help users decipher journal title abbreviations. This article discusses why these abbreviations are so problematic, and how traditional tools are often insufficient, and then describes the novel approach used by JAbbr. Given an abbreviation, JAbbr creates a regular expression for fuzzy matching, tests it against a list of serial titles extracted from the library catalog, and returns a list of possible matches to the user. JAbbr is available as a web site and as a web service.

  5. Variance in brain volume with advancing age: implications for defining the limits of normality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Alexander Dickie

    Full Text Available Statistical models of normal ageing brain tissue volumes may support earlier diagnosis of increasingly common, yet still fatal, neurodegenerative diseases. For example, the statistically defined distribution of normal ageing brain tissue volumes may be used as a reference to assess patient volumes. To date, such models were often derived from mean values which were assumed to represent the distributions and boundaries, i.e. percentile ranks, of brain tissue volume. Since it was previously unknown, the objective of the present study was to determine if this assumption was robust, i.e. whether regression models derived from mean values accurately represented the distributions and boundaries of brain tissue volume at older ages.We acquired T1-w magnetic resonance (MR brain images of 227 normal and 219 Alzheimer's disease (AD subjects (aged 55-89 years from publicly available databanks. Using nonlinear regression within both samples, we compared mean and percentile rank estimates of whole brain tissue volume by age.In both the normal and AD sample, mean regression estimates of brain tissue volume often did not accurately represent percentile rank estimates (errors=-74% to 75%. In the normal sample, mean estimates generally underestimated differences in brain volume at percentile ranks below the mean. Conversely, in the AD sample, mean estimates generally underestimated differences in brain volume at percentile ranks above the mean. Differences between ages at the 5(th percentile rank of normal subjects were ~39% greater than mean differences in the AD subjects.While more data are required to make true population inferences, our results indicate that mean regression estimates may not accurately represent the distributions of ageing brain tissue volumes. This suggests that percentile rank estimates will be required to robustly define the limits of brain tissue volume in normal ageing and neurodegenerative disease.

  6. CT ASSESSMENT OF BRAIN VENTRICULAR SIZE BASED ON AGE AND SEX: A STUDY OF 112 CASES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinoo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available CT being the primary modality of choice in many centers for the diagnosis of brain pathology, normal brain ventricular size measurem ents is an important parameter for the diagnosis of conditions like hydrocephalus, age related atrophic changes and also other brain pathologies producing ventriculomegaly. It is also important for knowing the normal upper and lower limits of the brain ven tricular system in the different age groups, and in both sexes so as to diagnose brain pathology.The ventricular system of the brain undergoes changes with aging and varies with gender.Our study consists of 48 female, and 64 male patients. Apart from the v entricular measurements, two ratios and two indices were also calculated – which included the right and left Evan’s ratio, CM index, and ventricular size inde

  7. A common brain network links development, aging, and vulnerability to disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douaud, Gwenaëlle; Groves, Adrian R; Tamnes, Christian K; Westlye, Lars Tjelta; Duff, Eugene P; Engvig, Andreas; Walhovd, Kristine B; James, Anthony; Gass, Achim; Monsch, Andreas U; Matthews, Paul M; Fjell, Anders M; Smith, Stephen M; Johansen-Berg, Heidi

    2014-12-09

    Several theories link processes of development and aging in humans. In neuroscience, one model posits for instance that healthy age-related brain degeneration mirrors development, with the areas of the brain thought to develop later also degenerating earlier. However, intrinsic evidence for such a link between healthy aging and development in brain structure remains elusive. Here, we show that a data-driven analysis of brain structural variation across 484 healthy participants (8-85 y) reveals a largely--but not only--transmodal network whose lifespan pattern of age-related change intrinsically supports this model of mirroring development and aging. We further demonstrate that this network of brain regions, which develops relatively late during adolescence and shows accelerated degeneration in old age compared with the rest of the brain, characterizes areas of heightened vulnerability to unhealthy developmental and aging processes, as exemplified by schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, respectively. Specifically, this network, while derived solely from healthy subjects, spatially recapitulates the pattern of brain abnormalities observed in both schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. This network is further associated in our large-scale healthy population with intellectual ability and episodic memory, whose impairment contributes to key symptoms of schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Taken together, our results suggest that the common spatial pattern of abnormalities observed in these two disorders, which emerge at opposite ends of the life spectrum, might be influenced by the timing of their separate and distinct pathological processes in disrupting healthy cerebral development and aging, respectively.

  8. Decipher

    CERN Multimedia

    2002-01-01

    Review of a new fiction work by Stel Pavlou whose starting point is the lifecycle of the sun and the implications for human civilization. The story invokes the use of the CERN accelerator to analyze a special type of crystal found in Antartica which may hold the key to the legend of the city of Atlantis (1/2 page).

  9. Carnosine reverses the aging-induced down regulation of brain regional serotonergic system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Soumyabrata; Ghosh, Tushar K; Poddar, Mrinal K

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of the present investigation was to study the role of carnosine, an endogenous dipeptide biomolecule, on brain regional (cerebral cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus and pons-medulla) serotonergic system during aging. Results showed an aging-induced brain region specific significant (a) increase in Trp (except cerebral cortex) and their 5-HIAA steady state level with an increase in their 5-HIAA accumulation and declination, (b) decrease in their both 5-HT steady state level and 5-HT accumulation (except cerebral cortex). A significant decrease in brain regional 5-HT/Trp ratio (except cerebral cortex) and increase in 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio were also observed during aging. Carnosine at lower dosages (0.5-1.0μg/Kg/day, i.t. for 21 consecutive days) didn't produce any significant response in any of the brain regions, but higher dosages (2.0-2.5μg/Kg/day, i.t. for 21 consecutive days) showed a significant response on those aging-induced brain regional serotonergic parameters. The treatment with carnosine (2.0μg/Kg/day, i.t. for 21 consecutive days), attenuated these brain regional aging-induced serotonergic parameters and restored towards their basal levels that observed in 4 months young control rats. These results suggest that carnosine attenuates and restores the aging-induced brain regional down regulation of serotonergic system towards that observed in young rats' brain regions.

  10. Carnosine: effect on aging-induced increase in brain regional monoamine oxidase-A activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Soumyabrata; Poddar, Mrinal K

    2015-03-01

    Aging is a natural biological process associated with several neurological disorders along with the biochemical changes in brain. Aim of the present investigation is to study the effect of carnosine (0.5-2.5μg/kg/day, i.t. for 21 consecutive days) on aging-induced changes in brain regional (cerebral cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus and pons-medulla) mitochondrial monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) activity with its kinetic parameters. The results of the present study are: (1) The brain regional mitochondrial MAO-A activity and their kinetic parameters (except in Km of pons-medulla) were significantly increased with the increase of age (4-24 months), (2) Aging-induced increase of brain regional MAO-A activity including its Vmax were attenuated with higher dosages of carnosine (1.0-2.5μg/kg/day) and restored toward the activity that observed in young, though its lower dosage (0.5μg/kg/day) were ineffective in these brain regional MAO-A activity, (3) Carnosine at higher dosage in young rats, unlike aged rats significantly inhibited all the brain regional MAO-A activity by reducing their only Vmax excepting cerebral cortex, where Km was also significantly enhanced. These results suggest that carnosine attenuated the aging-induced increase of brain regional MAO-A activity by attenuating its kinetic parameters and restored toward the results of MAO-A activity that observed in corresponding brain regions of young rats.

  11. Restoration of brain protein synthesis in mature and aged rats by a DA agonist, piribedil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustany, P; Trenque, T; Crambes, O; Moulin, M

    1995-01-01

    Brain ageing affects numerous cerebral metabolic pathways such as cerebral glucose consumption or protein synthesis rate. The pharmacological effect of a mixed D1-D2 dopaminergic agonist, piribedil, on this last metabolism is reported. Cerebral Protein Synthesis Rate (CPSR) was measured by the [35S]L-methionine autoradiographic procedure in 38 main brain regions of 11 and 26-month-old Wistar rats after a 2-month treatment per os at 9 and 30 mg/kg/day with piribedil. Mean decrease of CPSR was -21% during the 15-month ageing we followed, with important local variations. Mean CPSR increased with the two treatments, +25% in mature and +35% in aged rats. Treatments restored CPSR of aged rats to the exact mature subjects levels in quite all the brain regions. No dose-effect or asymetrical modification was statistically revealed for the two treatments. Metabolic increases involved particularly central brain gray structures, especially some DA-targeted brain nuclei concerned with behaviour and learning. This effect argued for a general metabotrophic effect of D1-D2 dopamine stimulation of the brain. The original pattern of local ageing of brain protein synthesis in rat was also incidentally reported. This was the first direct report of a wide and effective metabolic activation of CPSR in the brain during ageing by a curative dopaminergic agonist treatment.

  12. Brain growth across the life span in autism: age-specific changes in anatomical pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courchesne, Eric; Campbell, Kathleen; Solso, Stephanie

    2011-03-22

    Autism is marked by overgrowth of the brain at the earliest ages but not at older ages when decreases in structural volumes and neuron numbers are observed instead. This has led to the theory of age-specific anatomic abnormalities in autism. Here we report age-related changes in brain size in autistic and typical subjects from 12 months to 50 years of age based on analyses of 586 longitudinal and cross-sectional MRI scans. This dataset is several times larger than the largest autism study to date. Results demonstrate early brain overgrowth during infancy and the toddler years in autistic boys and girls, followed by an accelerated rate of decline in size and perhaps degeneration from adolescence to late middle age in this disorder. We theorize that underlying these age-specific changes in anatomic abnormalities in autism, there may also be age-specific changes in gene expression, molecular, synaptic, cellular, and circuit abnormalities. A peak age for detecting and studying the earliest fundamental biological underpinnings of autism is prenatal life and the first three postnatal years. Studies of the older autistic brain may not address original causes but are essential to discovering how best to help the older aging autistic person. Lastly, the theory of age-specific anatomic abnormalities in autism has broad implications for a wide range of work on the disorder including the design, validation, and interpretation of animal model, lymphocyte gene expression, brain gene expression, and genotype/CNV-anatomic phenotype studies.

  13. White matter hyperintensities and imaging patterns of brain ageing in the general population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habes, Mohamad; Erus, Guray; Toledo, Jon B; Zhang, Tianhao; Bryan, Nick; Launer, Lenore J; Rosseel, Yves; Janowitz, Deborah; Doshi, Jimit; Van der Auwera, Sandra; von Sarnowski, Bettina; Hegenscheid, Katrin; Hosten, Norbert; Homuth, Georg; Völzke, Henry; Schminke, Ulf; Hoffmann, Wolfgang; Grabe, Hans J; Davatzikos, Christos

    2016-04-01

    White matter hyperintensities are associated with increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. The current study investigates the relationship between white matter hyperintensities burden and patterns of brain atrophy associated with brain ageing and Alzheimer's disease in a large populatison-based sample (n = 2367) encompassing a wide age range (20-90 years), from the Study of Health in Pomerania. We quantified white matter hyperintensities using automated segmentation and summarized atrophy patterns using machine learning methods resulting in two indices: the SPARE-BA index (capturing age-related brain atrophy), and the SPARE-AD index (previously developed to capture patterns of atrophy found in patients with Alzheimer's disease). A characteristic pattern of age-related accumulation of white matter hyperintensities in both periventricular and deep white matter areas was found. Individuals with high white matter hyperintensities burden showed significantly (P brain regions typically affected by ageing and Alzheimer's disease dementia. To investigate a possibly causal role of white matter hyperintensities, structural equation modelling was used to quantify the effect of Framingham cardiovascular disease risk score and white matter hyperintensities burden on SPARE-BA, revealing a statistically significant (P brain atrophy found in beyond-normal brain ageing in the general population. White matter hyperintensities also contribute to brain atrophy patterns in regions related to Alzheimer's disease dementia, in agreement with their known additive role to the likelihood of dementia. Preventive strategies reducing the odds to develop cardiovascular disease and white matter hyperintensities could decrease the incidence or delay the onset of dementia.

  14. Parameterization of the Age-Dependent Whole Brain Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Histogram

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uwe Klose

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. The distribution of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC values in the brain can be used to characterize age effects and pathological changes of the brain tissue. The aim of this study was the parameterization of the whole brain ADC histogram by an advanced model with influence of age considered. Methods. Whole brain ADC histograms were calculated for all data and for seven age groups between 10 and 80 years. Modeling of the histograms was performed for two parts of the histogram separately: the brain tissue part was modeled by two Gaussian curves, while the remaining part was fitted by the sum of a Gaussian curve, a biexponential decay, and a straight line. Results. A consistent fitting of the histograms of all age groups was possible with the proposed model. Conclusions. This study confirms the strong dependence of the whole brain ADC histograms on the age of the examined subjects. The proposed model can be used to characterize changes of the whole brain ADC histogram in certain diseases under consideration of age effects.

  15. The levels of soluble versus insoluble brain Abeta distinguish Alzheimer's disease from normal and pathologic aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J; Dickson, D W; Trojanowski, J Q; Lee, V M

    1999-08-01

    The abundance and solubility of Abeta peptides are critical determinants of amyloidosis in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Hence, we compared levels of total soluble, insoluble, and total Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 in AD brains with those in age-matched normal and pathologic aging brains using a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Since the measurement of Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 depends critically on the specificity of the monoclonal antibodies used in the sandwich ELISA, we first demonstrated that each assay is specific for Abeta1-40 or Abeta1-42 and the levels of these peptides are not affected by the amyloid precursor protein in the brain extracts. Thus, this sandwich ELISA enabled us to show that the average levels of total cortical soluble and insoluble Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 were highest in AD, lowest in normal aging, and intermediate in pathologic aging. Remarkably, the average levels of insoluble Abeta1-40 were increased 20-fold while the average levels of insoluble Abeta1-42 were increased only 2-fold in the AD brains compared to pathologic aging brains. Further, the soluble pools of Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 were the largest fractions of total Abeta in the normal brain (i.e., 50 and 23%, respectively), but they were the smallest in the AD brain (i.e., 2.7 and 0.7%, respectively) and intermediate (i.e., 8 and 0.8%, respectively) in pathologic aging brains. Thus, our data suggest that pathologic aging is a transition state between normal aging and AD. More importantly, our findings imply that a progressive shift of brain Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 from soluble to insoluble pools and a profound increase in the levels of insoluble Abeta1-40 plays mechanistic roles in the onset and/or progression of AD.

  16. Gender-specific impact of personal health parameters on individual brain aging in cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja eFranke

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Aging alters brain structure and function. Personal health markers and modifiable lifestyle factors are related to individual brain aging as well as to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD. This study uses a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI-based biomarker to assess the effects of 17 health markers on individual brain aging in cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects. By employing kernel regression methods, the expression of normal brain-aging patterns forms the basis to estimate the brain age of a given new subject. If the estimated age is higher than the chronological age, a positive brain age gap estimation (BrainAGE score indicates accelerated atrophy and is considered a risk factor for developing AD. Within this cross-sectional, multi-center study 228 cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects (118 males completed an MRI at 1.5T, physiological and blood parameter assessments. The multivariate regression model combining all measured parameters was capable of explaining 39% of BrainAGE variance in males (p < 0.001 and 32% in females (p < 0.01. Furthermore, markers of the metabolic syndrome as well as markers of liver and kidney functions were profoundly related to BrainAGE scores in males (p < 0.05. In females, markers of liver and kidney functions as well as supply of vitamin B12 were significantly related to BrainAGE (p < 0.05. In conclusion, in cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects several clinical markers of poor health were associated with subtle structural changes in the brain that reflect accelerated aging, whereas protective effects on brain aging were observed for markers of good health. Additionally, the relations between individual brain aging and miscellaneous health markers show gender-specific patterns. The BrainAGE approach may thus serve as a clinically relevant biomarker for the detection of subtly abnormal patterns of brain aging probably preceding cognitive decline and development of AD.

  17. The Impact of MicroRNAs on Brain Aging and Neurodegeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan P. Persengiev

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The molecular instructions that govern gene expression regulation are encoded in the genome and ultimately determine the morphology and functional specifications of the human brain. As a consequence, changes in gene expression levels might be directly related to the functional decline associated with brain aging. Small noncoding RNAs, including miRNAs, comprise a group of regulatory molecules that modulate the expression of hundred of genes which play important roles in brain metabolism. Recent comparative studies in humans and nonhuman primates revealed that miRNAs regulate multiple pathways and interconnected signaling cascades that are the basis for the cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders during aging. Identifying the roles of miRNAs and their target genes in model organisms combined with system-level studies of the brain would provide more comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of brain deterioration during the aging process.

  18. Diet and Age Interactions with Regards to Cholesterol Regulation and Brain Pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romina M. Uranga

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Cholesterol is an essential molecule for brain homeostasis; yet, hypercholesterolemia and its numerous complications are believed to play a role in promoting multiple aspects of brain pathogenesis. An ever increasing number of individuals in modern Western Society are regularly consuming diets high in fat which promote the development of hypercholesterolemia. Additionally, modern societies are becoming increasingly aged, causing a collision between increased hypercholesterolemia and increased aging, which will likely lead to the development of increased pathological conditions due to hypercholesterolemia, thereby promoting deleterious neurochemical and behavioral changes in the brain. Lastly, while beneficial in controlling cholesterol levels, the long-term use of statins itself may potentially promote adverse effects on brain homeostasis, although specifics on this remain largely unknown. This review will focus on linking the current understanding of diet-induced hypercholesterolemia (as well as statin use to the development of oxidative stress, neurochemical alterations, and cognitive disturbances in the aging brain.

  19. Gene expression changes in the course of normal brain aging are sexually dimorphic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berchtold, Nicole C; Cribbs, David H; Coleman, Paul D; Rogers, Joseph; Head, Elizabeth; Kim, Ronald; Beach, Tom; Miller, Carol; Troncoso, Juan; Trojanowski, John Q; Zielke, H Ronald; Cotman, Carl W

    2008-10-07

    Gene expression profiles were assessed in the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, superior-frontal gyrus, and postcentral gyrus across the lifespan of 55 cognitively intact individuals aged 20-99 years. Perspectives on global gene changes that are associated with brain aging emerged, revealing two overarching concepts. First, different regions of the forebrain exhibited substantially different gene profile changes with age. For example, comparing equally powered groups, 5,029 probe sets were significantly altered with age in the superior-frontal gyrus, compared with 1,110 in the entorhinal cortex. Prominent change occurred in the sixth to seventh decades across cortical regions, suggesting that this period is a critical transition point in brain aging, particularly in males. Second, clear gender differences in brain aging were evident, suggesting that the brain undergoes sexually dimorphic changes in gene expression not only in development but also in later life. Globally across all brain regions, males showed more gene change than females. Further, Gene Ontology analysis revealed that different categories of genes were predominantly affected in males vs. females. Notably, the male brain was characterized by global decreased catabolic and anabolic capacity with aging, with down-regulated genes heavily enriched in energy production and protein synthesis/transport categories. Increased immune activation was a prominent feature of aging in both sexes, with proportionally greater activation in the female brain. These data open opportunities to explore age-dependent changes in gene expression that set the balance between neurodegeneration and compensatory mechanisms in the brain and suggest that this balance is set differently in males and females, an intriguing idea.

  20. Association between dopamine D4 receptor polymorphism and age related changes in brain glucose metabolism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora D Volkow

    Full Text Available Aging is associated with reductions in brain glucose metabolism in some cortical and subcortical regions, but the rate of decrease varies significantly between individuals, likely reflecting genetic and environmental factors and their interactions. Here we test the hypothesis that the variant of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4 gene (VNTR in exon 3, which has been associated with novelty seeking and sensitivity to environmental stimuli (negative and positive including the beneficial effects of physical activity on longevity, influence the effects of aging on the human brain. We used positron emission tomography (PET and [(18F]fluoro-D-glucose ((18FDG to measure brain glucose metabolism (marker of brain function under baseline conditions (no stimulation in 82 healthy individuals (age range 22-55 years. We determined their DRD4 genotype and found an interaction with age: individuals who did not carry the 7-repeat allele (7R-, n = 53 had a significant (p<0.0001 negative association between age and relative glucose metabolism (normalized to whole brain glucose metabolism in frontal (r = -0.52, temporal (r = -0.51 and striatal regions (r = -0.47, p<0.001; such that older individuals had lower metabolism than younger ones. In contrast, for carriers of the 7R allele (7R+ n = 29, these correlations with age were not significant and they only showed a positive association with cerebellar glucose metabolism (r = +0.55; p = 0.002. Regression slopes of regional brain glucose metabolism with age differed significantly between the 7R+ and 7R- groups in cerebellum, inferior temporal cortex and striatum. These results provide evidence that the DRD4 genotype might modulate the associations between regional brain glucose metabolism and age and that the carriers of the 7R allele appear to be less sensitive to the effects of age on brain glucose metabolism.

  1. Association of structural global brain network properties with intelligence in normal aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian U Fischer

    Full Text Available Higher general intelligence attenuates age-associated cognitive decline and the risk of dementia. Thus, intelligence has been associated with cognitive reserve or resilience in normal aging. Neurophysiologically, intelligence is considered as a complex capacity that is dependent on a global cognitive network rather than isolated brain areas. An association of structural as well as functional brain network characteristics with intelligence has already been reported in young adults. We investigated the relationship between global structural brain network properties, general intelligence and age in a group of 43 cognitively healthy elderly, age 60-85 years. Individuals were assessed cross-sectionally using Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R and diffusion-tensor imaging. Structural brain networks were reconstructed individually using deterministic tractography, global network properties (global efficiency, mean shortest path length, and clustering coefficient were determined by graph theory and correlated to intelligence scores within both age groups. Network properties were significantly correlated to age, whereas no significant correlation to WAIS-R was observed. However, in a subgroup of 15 individuals aged 75 and above, the network properties were significantly correlated to WAIS-R. Our findings suggest that general intelligence and global properties of structural brain networks may not be generally associated in cognitively healthy elderly. However, we provide first evidence of an association between global structural brain network properties and general intelligence in advanced elderly. Intelligence might be affected by age-associated network deterioration only if a certain threshold of structural degeneration is exceeded. Thus, age-associated brain structural changes seem to be partially compensated by the network and the range of this compensation might be a surrogate of cognitive reserve or brain resilience.

  2. Association of structural global brain network properties with intelligence in normal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Florian U; Wolf, Dominik; Scheurich, Armin; Fellgiebel, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Higher general intelligence attenuates age-associated cognitive decline and the risk of dementia. Thus, intelligence has been associated with cognitive reserve or resilience in normal aging. Neurophysiologically, intelligence is considered as a complex capacity that is dependent on a global cognitive network rather than isolated brain areas. An association of structural as well as functional brain network characteristics with intelligence has already been reported in young adults. We investigated the relationship between global structural brain network properties, general intelligence and age in a group of 43 cognitively healthy elderly, age 60-85 years. Individuals were assessed cross-sectionally using Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) and diffusion-tensor imaging. Structural brain networks were reconstructed individually using deterministic tractography, global network properties (global efficiency, mean shortest path length, and clustering coefficient) were determined by graph theory and correlated to intelligence scores within both age groups. Network properties were significantly correlated to age, whereas no significant correlation to WAIS-R was observed. However, in a subgroup of 15 individuals aged 75 and above, the network properties were significantly correlated to WAIS-R. Our findings suggest that general intelligence and global properties of structural brain networks may not be generally associated in cognitively healthy elderly. However, we provide first evidence of an association between global structural brain network properties and general intelligence in advanced elderly. Intelligence might be affected by age-associated network deterioration only if a certain threshold of structural degeneration is exceeded. Thus, age-associated brain structural changes seem to be partially compensated by the network and the range of this compensation might be a surrogate of cognitive reserve or brain resilience.

  3. Age-dependent effect of static magnetic field on brain tissue hydration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deghoyan, Anush; Nikoghosyan, Anna; Heqimyan, Armenuhi; Ayrapetyan, Sinerik

    2014-01-01

    Age-dependent effect of Static Magnetic Field (SMF) on rats in a condition of active and inactive Na(+)/K(+) pump was studied for comparison of brain tissues hydration state changes and magnetic sensitivity. Influence of 15 min 0, 2 Tesla (T) SMF on brain tissue hydration of three aged groups of male albino rats was studied. Tyrode's physiological solution and 10(-4) M ouabain was used for intraperitoneal injections. For animal immobilization, the liquid nitrogen was used and the definition of tissue water content was performed by tissue drying method. Initial water content in brain tissues of young animals is significantly higher than in those of adult and aged ones. SMF exposure leads to decrease of water content in brain tissues of young animals and increase in brain tissues of adult and aged ones. In case of ouabain-poisoned animals, SMF gives reversal effects on brain tissue's hydration both in young and aged animals, while no significant effect on adults is observed. It is suggested that initial state of tissue hydration could play a crucial role in animal age-dependent magnetic sensitivity and the main reason for this could be age-dependent dysfunction of Na(+)/K(+) pump.

  4. Intraneuronal protein aggregation as a trigger for inflammation and neurodegeneration in the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currais, Antonio; Fischer, Wolfgang; Maher, Pamela; Schubert, David

    2017-01-01

    Age is, by far, the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), yet few AD drug candidates have been generated that target pathways specifically associated with the aging process itself. Two ubiquitous features of the aging brain are the intracellular accumulation of aggregated proteins and inflammation. As intraneuronal amyloid protein is detected before markers of inflammation, we argue that old, age-associated, aggregated proteins in neurons can induce inflammation, resulting in multiple forms of brain toxicities. The consequence is the increased risk of old, age-associated, neurodegenerative diseases. As most of these diseases are associated with the accumulation of aggregated proteins, it is possible that any therapeutic that reduces intracellular protein aggregation will benefit all.-Currais, A., Fischer, W., Maher, P., Schubert, D. Intraneuronal protein aggregation as a trigger for inflammation and neurodegeneration in the aging brain.

  5. Increased self-diffusion of brain water in normal aging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gideon, P; Thomsen, C; Henriksen, O

    1994-01-01

    correlation was found between the ADC in white matter and age (r = .7069, P age. The increased ADC in white matter may be caused...... by an increase in the extracellular volume due to age-dependent neuronal degeneration or to changes in myelination. These findings have implications for future clinical investigations with diffusion MR imaging techniques in patients with neurologic diseases, and stress the importance of having an age...

  6. Genetic basis of neurocognitive decline and reduced white-matter integrity in normal human brain aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glahn, David C; Kent, Jack W; Sprooten, Emma; Diego, Vincent P; Winkler, Anderson M; Curran, Joanne E; McKay, D Reese; Knowles, Emma E; Carless, Melanie A; Göring, Harald H H; Dyer, Thomas D; Olvera, Rene L; Fox, Peter T; Almasy, Laura; Charlesworth, Jac; Kochunov, Peter; Duggirala, Ravi; Blangero, John

    2013-11-19

    Identification of genes associated with brain aging should markedly improve our understanding of the biological processes that govern normal age-related decline. However, challenges to identifying genes that facilitate successful brain aging are considerable, including a lack of established phenotypes and difficulties in modeling the effects of aging per se, rather than genes that influence the underlying trait. In a large cohort of randomly selected pedigrees (n = 1,129 subjects), we documented profound aging effects from young adulthood to old age (18-83 y) on neurocognitive ability and diffusion-based white-matter measures. Despite significant phenotypic correlation between white-matter integrity and tests of processing speed, working memory, declarative memory, and intelligence, no evidence for pleiotropy between these classes of phenotypes was observed. Applying an advanced quantitative gene-by-environment interaction analysis where age is treated as an environmental factor, we demonstrate a heritable basis for neurocognitive deterioration as a function of age. Furthermore, by decomposing gene-by-aging (G × A) interactions, we infer that different genes influence some neurocognitive traits as a function of age, whereas other neurocognitive traits are influenced by the same genes, but to differential levels, from young adulthood to old age. In contrast, increasing white-matter incoherence with age appears to be nongenetic. These results clearly demonstrate that traits sensitive to the genetic influences on brain aging can be identified, a critical first step in delineating the biological mechanisms of successful aging.

  7. Age-associated losses of brain volume predict longitudinal cognitive declines over 8 to 20 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabbitt, Patrick; Ibrahim, Said; Lunn, Mary; Scott, Marietta; Thacker, Neil; Hutchinson, Charles; Horan, Michael; Pendleton, Neil; Jackson, Alan

    2008-01-01

    Absolute differences in global brain volume predict differences in cognitive ability among healthy older adults. However, absolute differences confound lifelong differences in brain size with amounts of age-related shrinkage. Measurements of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume were made to estimate age-related shrinkage in 93 healthy volunteers aged 63 to 86 years. Their current levels of brain shrinkage predicted their amounts of decline over the previous 8 to 20 years on repeated assessments during a longitudinal study on the Cattell "Culture Fair" Intelligence Test, on two tests of information processing speed, and marginally on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (D. Wechsler, 1981), but not on three memory tests. Loss of brain volume is an effective marker both for current cognitive status and for amounts and rates of previous age-related cognitive losses.

  8. A longitudinal study of structural brain network changes with normal aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai eWu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate age-related changes in the topological organization of structural brain networks by applying a longitudinal design over 6 years. Structural brain networks were derived from measurements of regional gray matter volume and were constructed in age-specific groups from baseline and follow-up scans. The structural brain networks showed economical small-world properties, providing high global and local efficiency for parallel information processing at low connection costs. In the analysis of the global network properties, the local and global efficiency of the baseline scan were significantly lower compared to the follow-up scan. Moreover, the annual rate of changes in local and global efficiency showed a positive and negative quadratic correlation with the baseline age, respectively; both curvilinear correlations peaked at approximately the age of 50. In the analysis of the regional nodal properties, significant negative correlations between the annual rate of changes in nodal strength and the baseline age were found in the brain regions primarily involved in the visual and motor/ control systems, whereas significant positive quadratic correlations were found in the brain regions predominately associated with the default-mode, attention, and memory systems. The results of the longitudinal study are consistent with the findings of our previous cross-sectional study: the structural brain networks develop into a fast distribution from young to middle age (approximately 50 years old and eventually became a fast localization in the old age. Our findings elucidate the network topology of structural brain networks and its longitudinal changes, thus enhancing the understanding of the underlying physiology of normal aging in the human brain.

  9. Mutant alpha-synuclein causes age-dependent neuropathology in monkey brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Weili; Wang, Guohao; Wang, Chuan-En; Guo, Xiangyu; Yin, Peng; Gao, Jinquan; Tu, Zhuchi; Wang, Zhengbo; Wu, Jing; Hu, Xintian; Li, Shihua; Li, Xiao-Jiang

    2015-05-27

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age-dependent neurodegenerative disease that often occurs in those over age 60. Although rodents and small animals have been used widely to model PD and investigate its pathology, their short life span makes it difficult to assess the aging-related pathology that is likely to occur in PD patient brains. Here, we used brain tissues from rhesus monkeys at 2-3, 7-8, and >15 years of age to examine the expression of Parkin, PINK1, and α-synuclein, which are known to cause PD via loss- or gain-of-function mechanisms. We found that α-synuclein is increased in the older monkey brains, whereas Parkin and PINK1 are decreased or remain unchanged. Because of the gain of toxicity of α-synuclein, we performed stereotaxic injection of lentiviral vectors expressing mutant α-synuclein (A53T) into the substantia nigra of monkeys and found that aging also increases the accumulation of A53T in neurites and its associated neuropathology. A53T also causes more extensive reactive astrocytes and axonal degeneration in monkey brain than in mouse brain. Using monkey brain tissues, we found that A53T interacts with neurofascin, an adhesion molecule involved in axon subcellular targeting and neurite outgrowth. Aged monkey brain tissues show an increased interaction of neurofascin with A53T. Overexpression of A53T causes neuritic toxicity in cultured neuronal cells, which can be attenuated by transfected neurofascin. These findings from nonhuman primate brains reveal age-dependent pathological and molecular changes that could contribute to the age-dependent neuropathology in PD.

  10. Selective vulnerability related to aging in large-scale resting brain networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong-Ying; Chen, Wen-Xin; Jiao, Yun; Xu, Yao; Zhang, Xiang-Rong; Wu, Jing-Tao

    2014-01-01

    Normal aging is associated with cognitive decline. Evidence indicates that large-scale brain networks are affected by aging; however, it has not been established whether aging has equivalent effects on specific large-scale networks. In the present study, 40 healthy subjects including 22 older (aged 60-80 years) and 18 younger (aged 22-33 years) adults underwent resting-state functional MRI scanning. Four canonical resting-state networks, including the default mode network (DMN), executive control network (ECN), dorsal attention network (DAN) and salience network, were extracted, and the functional connectivities in these canonical networks were compared between the younger and older groups. We found distinct, disruptive alterations present in the large-scale aging-related resting brain networks: the ECN was affected the most, followed by the DAN. However, the DMN and salience networks showed limited functional connectivity disruption. The visual network served as a control and was similarly preserved in both groups. Our findings suggest that the aged brain is characterized by selective vulnerability in large-scale brain networks. These results could help improve our understanding of the mechanism of degeneration in the aging brain. Additional work is warranted to determine whether selective alterations in the intrinsic networks are related to impairments in behavioral performance.

  11. Changes in topological organization of functional PET brain network with normal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhiliang; Ke, Lining; Liu, Huafeng; Huang, Wenhua; Hu, Zhenghui

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies about brain network have suggested that normal aging is associated with alterations in coordinated patterns of the large-scale brain functional and structural systems. However, age-related changes in functional networks constructed via positron emission tomography (PET) data are still barely understood. Here, we constructed functional brain networks composed of 90 regions in younger (mean age 36.5 years) and older (mean age 56.3 years) age groups with PET data. 113 younger and 110 older healthy individuals were separately selected for two age groups, from a physical examination database. Corresponding brain functional networks of the two groups were constructed by thresholding average cerebral glucose metabolism correlation matrices of 90 regions and analysed using graph theoretical approaches. Although both groups showed normal small-world architecture in the PET networks, increased clustering and decreased efficiency were found in older subjects, implying a degeneration process that brain system shifts from a small-world network to regular one along with normal aging. Moreover, normal senescence was related to changed nodal centralities predominantly in association and paralimbic cortex regions, e.g. increasing in orbitofrontal cortex (middle) and decreasing in left hippocampus. Additionally, the older networks were about equally as robust to random failures as younger counterpart, but more vulnerable against targeted attacks. Finally, methods in the construction of the PET networks revealed reasonable robustness. Our findings enhanced the understanding about the topological principles of PET networks and changes related to normal aging.

  12. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of degenerating brain: a comparison of normal aging, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ljubisavljevic, M R; Ismail, F Y; Filipovic, S

    2013-07-01

    Although the brain's ability to change constantly in response to external and internal inputs is now well recognized the mechanisms behind it in normal aging and neurodegeneration are less well understood. To gain a better understanding, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been used extensively to characterize non-invasively the cortical neurophysiology of the aging and degenerating brain. Furthermore, there has been a surge of studies examining whether repetitive TMS (rTMS) can be used to improve functional deficits in various conditions including normal aging, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The results of these studies in normal aging and neurodegeneration have emerged reasonably coherent in delineating the main pathology in spite of considerable technical limitations, omnipresent methodological variability, and extraordinary patient heterogeneity. Nevertheless, comparing and integrating what is known about TMS measurements of cortical excitability and plasticity in disorders that predominantly affect cortical brain structures with disorders that predominantly affect subcortical brain structures may provide better understanding of normal and abnormal brain aging fostering new. The present review provides a TMS perspective of changes in cortical neurophysiology and neurochemistry in normal aging and neurodegeneration by integrating what is revealed in individual TMS measurements of cortical excitability and plasticity in physiological aging, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's, disease. The paper also reflects on current developments in utilizing TMS as a physiologic biomarker to discriminate physiologic aging from neurodegeneration and its potential as a method of therapeutic intervention.

  13. Studying variability in human brain aging in a population-based German cohort – Rationale and design of 1000BRAINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svenja eCaspers

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The ongoing 1000 brains study (1000BRAINS is an epidemiological and neuroscientific investigation of structural and functional variability in the human brain during aging. The two recruitment sources are the 10-year follow-up cohort of the German Heinz Nixdorf Recall (HNR Study, and the HNR MultiGeneration Study cohort, which comprises spouses and offspring of HNR subjects. The HNR is a longitudinal epidemiological investigation of cardiovascular risk factors, with a comprehensive collection of clinical, laboratory, socioeconomic, and environmental data from population-based subjects aged 45-75 years on inclusion. HNR subjects underwent detailed assessments in 2000, 2006, and 2011, and completed annual postal questionnaires on health status. 1000BRAINS accesses these HNR data and applies a separate protocol comprising: neuropsychological tests of attention, memory, executive functions & language; examination of motor skills; ratings of personality, life quality, mood & daily activities; analysis of laboratory and genetic data; and state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, 3 Tesla of the brain. The latter includes (i 3D-T1- and 3D-T2-weighted scans for structural analyses and myelin mapping; (ii three diffusion imaging sequences optimized for diffusion tensor imaging, high-angular resolution diffusion imaging for detailed fibre tracking and for diffusion kurtosis imaging; (iii resting-state and task-based functional MRI; and (iv fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and MR angiography for the detection of vascular lesions and the mapping of white matter lesions. The unique design of 1000BRAINS allows: (i comprehensive investigation of various influences including genetics, environment and health status on variability in brain structure and function during aging; and (ii identification of the impact of selected influencing factors on specific cognitive subsystems and their anatomical correlates.

  14. mTOR and autophagy in normal brain aging and caloric restriction ameliorating age-related cognition deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fengying; Chu, Xiaolei; Yin, Miaomiao; Liu, Xiaolei; Yuan, Hairui; Niu, Yanmei; Fu, Li

    2014-05-01

    Defect of autophagy is common to many neurodegenerative disorders because it serves as a major degradation pathway for the clearance of various aggregate-prone proteins. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, which is recognized as the most important negative regulator of autophagy, is also involved in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the role of mTOR and its dependent autophagy in normal brain during aging remains unknown. Furthermore, caloric restriction (CR) is frequently used as a tool to study mechanisms behind aging and age-associated diseases because CR can prevent age-related diseases and prolong lifespan in several model organisms. Inhibiting mTOR and promoting autophagy activity play roles in aging delayed by CR. However, whether CR can ameliorate age-related cognition deficits by inhibiting mTOR and activate autophagy in hippocampus needs to be further investigated. Here we showed a decline of autophagic degradation in mice hippocampus in correlation with age-dependent cognitive dysfunction, whereas the activity of mTOR and its upstream brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling was decreased with aging. In addition, facilitating the mTOR pathway successfully declines and sustains autophagic degradation with aging in hippocampus by CR treatment and is involved in CR by ameliorating age-related cognitive deficits.

  15. In vivo and in vitro assessment of brain bioenergetics in aging rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vančová, Ol'ga; Bačiak, Ladislav; Kašparová, Svatava; Kucharská, Jarmila; Palacios, Hector H; Horecký, Jaromír; Aliev, Gjumrakch

    2010-11-01

    Brain energy disorders can be present in aged men and animals. To this respect, the mitochondrial and free radical theory of aging postulates that age-associated brain energy disorders are caused by an imbalance between pro- and anti-oxidants that can result in oxidative stress. Our study was designed to investigate brain energy metabolism and the activity of endogenous antioxidants during their lifespan in male Wistar rats. In vivo brain bioenergetics were measured using ³¹P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and in vitro by polarographic analysis of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. When compared to the young controls, a significant decrease of age-dependent mitochondrial respiration and adenosine-3-phosphate (ATP) production measured in vitro correlated with significant reduction of forward creatine kinase reaction (kfor) and with an increase in phosphocreatine (PCr)/ATP, PCr/Pi and PME/ATP ratio measured in vivo. The levels of enzymatic antioxidants catalase, GPx and GST significantly decreased in the brain tissue as well as in the peripheral blood of aged rats. We suppose that mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative inactivation of endogenous enzymes may participate in age-related disorders of brain energy metabolism.

  16. Aging-dependent changes in the cellular composition of the mouse brain and spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Y; Yu, Y; Paxinos, G; Watson, C; Rusznák, Z

    2015-04-02

    Although the impact of aging on the function of the central nervous system is known, only a limited amount of information is available about accompanying changes affecting the cellular composition of the brain and spinal cord. In the present work we used the isotropic fractionator method to reveal aging-associated changes in the numbers of neuronal and non-neuronal cells harbored by the brain and spinal cord. The experiments were performed on 15-week, 7-month, 13-month, and 25-month-old female mice. The major parts of the brain were studied separately, including the isocortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, olfactory bulb, and the remaining part (i.e., 'rest of brain'). The proliferative capacity of each structure was assessed by counting the number of Ki-67-positive cells. We found no aging-dependent change when the cellular composition of the isocortex was studied. In contrast, the neuronal and non-neuronal cell numbers of the hippocampus decreased in the 7-25-month period. The neuronal cell number of the olfactory bulb showed positive age-dependence between 15 weeks and 13 months of age and presented a significant decrease thereafter. The cerebellum was characterized by an age-dependent decrease of its neuronal cell number and density. In the rest of brain, the non-neuronal cell number increased with age. The neuronal and non-neuronal cell numbers of the spinal cord increased, whereas its neuronal and non-neuronal densities decreased with age. The number of proliferating cells showed a marked age-dependent decrease in the hippocampus, olfactory bulb, and rest of the brain. In contrast, the number of Ki-67-positive cells increased with age in both the cerebellum and spinal cord. In conclusion, aging-dependent changes affecting the cellular composition of the mouse central nervous system are present but they are diverse and region-specific.

  17. Dietary resistant starch improves selected brain and behavioral functions in adult and aged rodents

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Resistant starch (RS) is a dietary fiber that exerts multiple beneficial effects. The current study explored the effects of dietary RS on selected brain and behavioral functions in adult and aged rodents. Because glucokinase (GK) expression in hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and area postrema of the brainstem is important for brain glucose sensing, GK mRNA was measured by brain nuclei microdissection and PCR. Adult RS-fed rats had a higher GK mRNA than controls in both brain nuclei, an indicator...

  18. PET Imaging of Tau Deposition in the Aging Human Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schöll, Michael; Lockhart, Samuel N; Schonhaut, Daniel R; O'Neil, James P; Janabi, Mustafa; Ossenkoppele, Rik; Baker, Suzanne L; Vogel, Jacob W; Faria, Jamie; Schwimmer, Henry D; Rabinovici, Gil D; Jagust, William J

    2016-03-02

    Tau pathology is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) but also occurs in normal cognitive aging. Using the tau PET agent (18)F-AV-1451, we examined retention patterns in cognitively normal older people in relation to young controls and AD patients. Age and β-amyloid (measured using PiB PET) were differentially associated with tau tracer retention in healthy aging. Older age was related to increased tracer retention in regions of the medial temporal lobe, which predicted worse episodic memory performance. PET detection of tau in other isocortical regions required the presence of cortical β-amyloid and was associated with decline in global cognition. Furthermore, patterns of tracer retention corresponded well with Braak staging of neurofibrillary tau pathology. The present study defined patterns of tau tracer retention in normal aging in relation to age, cognition, and β-amyloid deposition.

  19. Age-specific MRI brain and head templates for healthy adults from twenty through eighty-nine years of age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul T Fillmore

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This study created and tested a database of adult, age-specific MRI brain and head templates. The participants included healthy adults from 20 through 89 years of age. The templates were done in 5-year, 10-year, and multi-year intervals from 20 through 89 years, and consist of average T1W for the head and brain, and segmenting priors for GM, WM, and CSF. It was found that age-appropriate templates provided less biased tissue classification estimates than age-inappropriate reference data and reference data based on young adult templates. This database is available for use by other investigators and clinicians for their MRI studies, as well as other types of neuroimaging and electrophysiological research (http://jerlab.psych.sc.edu/NeurodevelopmentalMRIDatabase/.

  20. Differentiating the Influences of Aging and Adiposity on Brain Weights, Levels of Serum and Brain Cytokines, Gastrointestinal Hormones, and Amyloid Precursor Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, William A; Abrass, Christine K; Hansen, Kim M

    2016-01-01

    Aging and obesity exert important effects on disease. Differentiating these effects is difficult, however, because weight gain often accompanies aging. Here, we used a nested design of aged, calorically restricted, and refed rats to measure changes in brain and blood levels of cytokines and gastrointestinal hormones, brain amyloid precursor protein levels, and brain and body weights. By comparing groups and using path analysis, we found divergent influences of chronological aging versus body weight, our main findings being (i) changes in whole brain weight and serum macrophage colony-stimulating factor levels correlated better with body weight than with chronological aging, (ii) a decrease in brain cytokines and brain plasminogen activator inhibitor levels correlated better with chronological aging than with body weight, (iii) serum erythropoietin levels were influenced by both body weight and aging, (iv) serum plasminogen activator inhibitor, serum cytokines, and brain tumor necrosis factor were not influenced by aging or body weight, and (v) brain amyloid precursor protein more closely related to body weight and serum levels of gastrointestinal hormones than to brain weight, chronological aging, or cytokines. These findings show that although aging and body weight interact, their influences are distinct not only among various cytokines and hormones but also between the central nervous system and the peripheral tissue compartments.

  1. R2* mapping for brain iron: associations with cognition in normal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghadery, Christine; Pirpamer, Lukas; Hofer, Edith; Langkammer, Christian; Petrovic, Katja; Loitfelder, Marisa; Schwingenschuh, Petra; Seiler, Stephan; Duering, Marco; Jouvent, Eric; Schmidt, Helena; Fazekas, Franz; Mangin, Jean-Francois; Chabriat, Hugues; Dichgans, Martin; Ropele, Stefan; Schmidt, Reinhold

    2015-02-01

    Brain iron accumulates during aging and has been associated with neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease. Magnetic resonance (MR)-based R2* mapping enables the in vivo detection of iron content in brain tissue. We investigated if during normal brain aging iron load relates to cognitive impairment in region-specific patterns in a community-dwelling cohort of 336 healthy, middle aged, and older adults from the Austrian Stroke Prevention Family Study. MR imaging and R2* mapping in the basal ganglia and neocortex were done at 3T. Comprehensive neuropsychological testing assessed memory, executive function, and psychomotor speed. We found the highest iron concentration in the globus pallidus, and pallidal and putaminal iron was significantly and inversely associated with cognitive performance in all cognitive domains, except memory. These associations were iron load dependent. Vascular brain lesions and brain volume did not mediate the relationship between iron and cognitive performance. We conclude that higher R2*-determined iron in the basal ganglia correlates with cognitive impairment during brain aging independent of concomitant brain abnormalities. The prognostic significance of this finding needs to be determined.

  2. Brain volumetric changes and cognitive ageing during the eighth decade of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritchie, Stuart J; Dickie, David Alexander; Cox, Simon R; Valdes Hernandez, Maria Del C; Corley, Janie; Royle, Natalie A; Pattie, Alison; Aribisala, Benjamin S; Redmond, Paul; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Taylor, Adele M; Sibbett, Ruth; Gow, Alan J; Starr, John M; Bastin, Mark E; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Deary, Ian J

    2015-12-01

    Later-life changes in brain tissue volumes--decreases in the volume of healthy grey and white matter and increases in the volume of white matter hyperintensities (WMH)--are strong candidates to explain some of the variation in ageing-related cognitive decline. We assessed fluid intelligence, memory, processing speed, and brain volumes (from structural MRI) at mean age 73 years, and at mean age 76 in a narrow-age sample of older individuals (n = 657 with brain volumetric data at the initial wave, n = 465 at follow-up). We used latent variable modeling to extract error-free cognitive levels and slopes. Initial levels of cognitive ability were predictive of subsequent brain tissue volume changes. Initial brain volumes were not predictive of subsequent cognitive changes. Brain volume changes, especially increases in WMH, were associated with declines in each of the cognitive abilities. All statistically significant results were modest in size (absolute r-values ranged from 0.114 to 0.334). These results build a comprehensive picture of macrostructural brain volume changes and declines in important cognitive faculties during the eighth decade of life.

  3. Exercise as an intervention for the age-related decline in brain metabolic support

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brenda J Anderson

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available To identify interventions for brain aging, we must first identify the processes in which we hope to intervene. Brain aging is a period of decreasing functional capacity and increasing vulnerability, which reflect a reduction in morphological organization and perhaps degeneration. Since life is ultimately dependent upon the ability to maintain cellular organization through metabolism, this review explores evidence for a decline in neural metabolic support during aging, which includes a reduction in whole brain cerebral blood flow, and cellular metabolic capacity. Capillary density may also decrease with age, although the results are less clear. Exercise may be a highly effective intervention for brain aging, because it improves the cardiovascular system as a whole, and increases regional capillary density and neuronal metabolic capacity. Although the evidence is strongest for motor regions, more work may yield additional evidence for exercise-related improvement in metabolic support in non-motor regions. The protective effects of exercise may be specific to brain region and the type of insult. For example, exercise protects striatal cells from ischemia, but it produces mixed results after hippocampal seizures. Exercise can improve metabolic support and bioenergetic capacity in adult animals, but it remains to be determined whether it has similar effects in aging animals. What is clear is that exercise can influence the multiple levels of support necessary for maintaining optimal neuronal function, which is unique among proposed interventions for aging.

  4. Expression of alpha-synuclein in different brain parts of adult and aged rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamczyk, A; Solecka, J; Strosznajder, J B

    2005-03-01

    The synucleins are a family of presynaptic proteins that are abundant in neurons and include alpha-, beta, and gamma-synuclein. Alpha-synuclein (ASN) is involved in several neurodegenerative age-related disorders but its relevance in physiological aging is unknown. In the present study we investigated the expression of ASN mRNA and protein in the different brain parts of the adult (4-month-old) and aged (24-month-old) rats by using RT-PCR technique and Western blot, respectively. Our results indicated that mRNA expression and immunoreactivity of ASN is similar in brain cortex, hippocampus and striatum but markedly lower in cerebellum comparing to the other brain parts. Aging lowers ASN mRNA expression in striatum and cerebellum by about 40%. The immunoreactivity of ASN in synaptic plasma membranes (SPM) from aged brain cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum is significantly lower comparing to adult by 39%, 24% and 65%, respectively. Beta-synuclein (BSN) was not changed in aged brain comparing to adult. Age-related alteration of ASN may affect the nerve terminals structure and function.

  5. Recent Developments in Understanding Brain Aging: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Cognitive Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna; Sonntag, William E

    2016-01-01

    As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease.

  6. DNA Strand Breaks, Neurodegeneration and Aging in the Brain

    OpenAIRE

    Katyal, Sachin; McKinnon, Peter J

    2008-01-01

    Defective responses to DNA single- or double-strand breaks can result in neurological disease, underscoring the critical importance of DNA repair for neural homeostasis. Human DNA repair-deficient syndromes are generally congenital, in which brain pathology reflects the consequences of developmentally incurred DNA damage. Although, it is unclear to what degree DNA strand-break repair defects in mature neural cells contributes to disease pathology. However, DNA single-strand breaks are a relat...

  7. Astaxanthin alleviates brain aging in rats by attenuating oxidative stress and increasing BDNF levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wanqiang; Wang, Xin; Xiang, Qisen; Meng, Xu; Peng, Ye; Du, Na; Liu, Zhigang; Sun, Quancai; Wang, Chan; Liu, Xuebo

    2014-01-01

    Astaxanthin (AST) is a carotenoid pigment which possesses potent antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. The aim of this study was to investigate whether administration of AST had protective effects on D-galactose-induced brain aging in rats, and further examined its protective mechanisms. The results showed that AST treatment significantly restored the activities of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and increased glutathione (GSH) contents and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), but decreased malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonylation and 8-hydroxy-2- deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels in the brains of aging rats. Furthermore, AST increased the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax, but decreased the expression of Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the brains of aging rats. Additionally, AST ameliorated histopathological changes in the hippocampus and restored brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in both the brains and hippocampus of aging rats. These results suggested that AST could alleviate brain aging, which may be due to attenuating oxidative stress, ameliorating hippocampus damage, and upregulating BDNF expression.

  8. Using autopsy brain tissue to study alcohol-related brain damage in the genomic age

    OpenAIRE

    Sutherland, Greg T.; Sheedy, Donna; Kril, Jillian J.

    2013-01-01

    The New South Wales Tissue Resource Centre (NSW TRC) at the University of Sydney, Australia is one of the few human brain banks dedicated to the study of the effects of chronic alcoholism. The bank was affiliated in 1994 as a member of the National Network of Brain Banks and also focuses on schizophrenia and healthy control tissue. Alcohol abuse is a major problem worldwide, manifesting in such conditions as fetal alcohol syndrome, adolescent binge drinking, alcohol dependency and alcoholic n...

  9. Heroin abuse accelerates biological aging: a novel insight from telomerase and brain imaging interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, G L F; Zeng, H; Leung, M-K; Zhang, H-J; Lau, B W M; Liu, Y-P; Liu, G-X; Sham, P C; Chan, C C H; So, K-F; Lee, T M C

    2013-05-21

    Heroin abuse and natural aging exert common influences on immunological cell functioning. This observation led to a recent and untested idea that aging may be accelerated in abusers of heroin. We examined this claim by testing whether heroin use is associated with premature aging at both cellular and brain system levels. A group of abstinent heroin users (n=33) and matched healthy controls (n=30) were recruited and measured on various biological indicators of aging. These measures included peripheral blood telomerase activity, which reflects cellular aging, and both structural and functional measures of brain magnetic resonance imaging. We found that heroin users were characterized by significantly low telomerase activity (0.21 vs 1.78; 88% reduction; t(61)=6.96, Pbrain region implicated in aging. Using the PFC location identified from the structural analyses as a 'seed' region, it was further revealed that telomerase activity interacted with heroin use to impact age-sensitive brain functional networks (AlphaSim corrected Pbrain system and behavioral measures in the context of substance abuse. The present finding that heroin abuse is associated with accelerated aging at both cellular and brain system levels is novel and forms a unique contribution to our knowledge in how the biological processes of drug abusers may be disrupted.

  10. Chronic vitamin C deficiency does not accelerate oxidative stress in ageing brains of guinea pigs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tveden-Nyborg, Pernille; Hasselholt, Stine; Miyashita, Namiyo

    2012-01-01

    , a lack of vitamin C could be associated with an increase in redox imbalance in the ageing brain. The present study compared oxidative stress of ageing to that of a long-term non-scorbutic vitamin C deficiency in guinea pigs. Adults (3-9 months old) were compared to old (36-42 months old) animals during...

  11. Brain SERT Expression of Male Rats Is Reduced by Aging and Increased by Testosterone Restitution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Jaime Herrera-Pérez

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In preclinical and clinical studies aging has been associated with a deteriorated response to antidepressant treatment. We hypothesize that such impairment is explained by an age-related decrease in brain serotonin transporter (SERT expression associated with low testosterone (T levels. The objectives of this study were to establish (1 if brain SERT expression is reduced by aging and (2 if the SERT expression in middle-aged rats is increased by T-restitution. Intact young rats (3–5 months and gonad-intact middle-aged rats with or without T-restitution were used. The identification of the brain SERT expression was done by immunofluorescence in prefrontal cortex, lateral septum, hippocampus, and raphe nuclei. An age-dependent reduction of SERT expression was observed in all brain regions examined, while T-restitution recovered the SERT expression only in the dorsal raphe of middle-aged rats. This last action seems relevant since dorsal raphe plays an important role in the antidepressant action of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. All data suggest that this mechanism accounts for the T-replacement usefulness to improve the response to antidepressants in the aged population.

  12. Polychlorinated biphenyls in adipose tissue, liver, and brain from nine stillborns of varying gestational ages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, M; Muskiet, FAJ; Van Der Paauw, CG; Essed, CE; Boersma, ER

    1998-01-01

    We analyzed polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in s.c. adipose tissue, liver, and brain of nine fetuses who died in utero. Their median (range) gestational ages and birth weights were 34 (17-40) wk and 2050 (162-3225) g. Three fetuses were small for gestational age. The levels of PCB congener nos. 118

  13. Ketogenic diets: an historical antiepileptic therapy with promising potentialities for the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balietti, Marta; Casoli, Tiziana; Di Stefano, Giuseppina; Giorgetti, Belinda; Aicardi, Giorgio; Fattoretti, Patrizia

    2010-07-01

    Ketogenic diets (KDs), successfully used in the therapy of paediatric epilepsy for nearly a century, have recently shown beneficial effects also in cancer, obesity, diabetes, GLUT 1 deficiencies, hypoxia-ischemia, traumatic brain injuries, and neurodegeneration. The latter achievement designates aged individuals as optimal recipients, but concerns derive from possible age-dependent differences in KDs effectiveness. Indeed, the main factors influencing ketone bodies utilization by the brain (blood levels, transport mechanisms, catabolic enzymes) undergo developmental changes, although several reports indicate that KDs maintain some efficacy during adulthood and even during advanced aging. Encouraging results obtained in patients affected by age-related neurodegenerative diseases have prompted new interest on KDs' effect on the aging brain, also considering the poor efficacy of therapies currently used. However, recent morphological evidence in synapses of late-adult rats indicates that KDs consequences may be even opposite in different brain regions, likely depending on neuronal vulnerability to age. Thus, further studies are needed to design KDs specifically indicated for single neurodegenerative diseases, and to ameliorate the balance between beneficial and adverse effects in aged subjects. Here we review clinical and experimental data on KDs treatments, focusing on their possible use during pathological aging. Proposed mechanisms of action are also reported and discussed.

  14. Traumatic brain injury: Age at injury influences dementia risk after TBI

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Victoria E.; Stewart, William

    2015-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is increasingly recognized as a risk factor for dementia. New data provide further support for this association and demonstrate the influence of age at injury and injury severity on dementia risk after TBI, revealing that even mild TBI increases dementia risk in those aged ≥65 years.

  15. Changes in neuronal DNA content variation in the human brain during aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Hans-Georg; Morawski, Markus; Brückner, Martina K; Mittag, Anja; Tarnok, Attila; Arendt, Thomas

    2012-08-01

    The human brain has been proposed to represent a genetic mosaic, containing a small but constant number of neurons with an amount of DNA exceeding the diploid level that appear to be generated through various chromosome segregation defects initially. While a portion of these cells apparently die during development, neurons with abnormal chromosomal copy number have been identified in the mature brain. This genomic alteration might to lead to chromosomal instability affecting neuronal viability and could thus contribute to age-related mental disorders. Changes in the frequency of neurons with such structural genomic variation in the adult and aging brain, however, are unknown. Here, we quantified the frequency of neurons with a more than diploid DNA content in the cerebral cortex of normal human brain and analyzed its changes between the fourth and ninth decades of life. We applied a protocol of slide-based cytometry optimized for DNA quantification of single identified neurons, which allowed to analyze the DNA content of about 500 000 neurons for each brain. On average, 11.5% of cortical neurons showed DNA content above the diploid level. The frequency of neurons with this genomic alteration was highest at younger age and declined with age. Our results indicate that the genomic variation associated with DNA content exceeding the diploid level might compromise viability of these neurons in the aging brain and might thus contribute to susceptibilities for age-related CNS disorders. Alternatively, a potential selection bias of "healthy aging brains" needs to be considered, assuming that DNA content variation above a certain threshold associates with Alzheimer's disease.

  16. Age-related changes in reactive oxygen species production in rat brain homogenates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driver, A S; Kodavanti, P R; Mundy, W R

    2000-01-01

    The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and resultant oxidative stress have been implicated in the mechanism of brain dysfunction due to age-related neurodegenerative diseases or exposure to environmental chemicals. We have investigated intrinsic age-related differences in the ability of the various brain regions to generate ROS in the absence and presence of Fe(2)+. ROS production in crude brain homogenates from adult rats was linear with respect to time and tissue concentration, and was stimulated to a greater extent by Fe(2)+ than was TBARS production. ROS production was then determined in homogenates from cerebral cortex, striatum, hippocampus, and cerebellum of 7-day-old, 14-day-old, 21-day-old, adult (3-6-month old), and aged (24-month-old) rats using the fluorescent probe 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescin (DCFH). Basal levels of ROS production were similar in 7-, 14-, and 21-day olds, increased in adults, and highest in aged rats, and did not differ between brain regions. ROS production was stimulated by Fe(2)+ (0. 3-30 microM) in a concentration-dependent manner in all brain regions. However, the stimulation of ROS production by Fe(2)+ varied with age. ROS production was greater in 14- and 21-day-old rats compared with adult and aged animals. ROS production in 7-day-old rats was decreased at low Fe(2)+ concentrations and increased at high Fe(2)+ concentrations compared to adult and aged rats. These data show that brain homogenates from neonatal rats respond differently to Fe(2)+, and suggest that developing animals may be more sensitive to oxidative stress in the brain after exposure to toxicants. Published by Elsevier Science Inc.

  17. Language in the aging brain: the network dynamics of cognitive decline and preservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafto, Meredith A; Tyler, Lorraine K

    2014-10-31

    Language is a crucial and complex lifelong faculty, underpinned by dynamic interactions within and between specialized brain networks. Whereas normal aging impairs specific aspects of language production, most core language processes are robust to brain aging. We review recent behavioral and neuroimaging evidence showing that language systems remain largely stable across the life span and that both younger and older adults depend on dynamic neural responses to linguistic demands. Although some aspects of network dynamics change with age, there is no consistent evidence that core language processes are underpinned by different neural networks in younger and older adults.

  18. Age Sensitivity of Behavioral Tests and Brain Substrates of Normal Aging in Mice

    OpenAIRE

    Kennard, John A.; Woodruff-Pak, Diana S.

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge of age sensitivity, the capacity of a behavioral test to reliably detect age-related changes, has utility in the design of experiments to elucidate processes of normal aging. We review the application of these tests in studies of normal aging and compare and contrast the age sensitivity of the Barnes maze, eyeblink classical conditioning, fear conditioning, Morris water maze, and rotorod. These tests have all been implemented to assess normal age-related changes in learning and memo...

  19. Age-Related Decline in Brain Resources Modulates Genetic Effects on Cognitive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindenberger, Ulman; Nagel, Irene E.; Chicherio, Christian; Li, Shu-Chen; Heekeren, Hauke R.; Bäckman, Lars

    2008-01-01

    Individual differences in cognitive performance increase from early to late adulthood, likely reflecting influences of a multitude of factors. We hypothesize that losses in neurochemical and anatomical brain resources in normal aging modulate the effects of common genetic variations on cognitive functioning. Our hypothesis is based on the assumption that the function relating brain resources to cognition is nonlinear, so that genetic differences exert increasingly large effects on cognition as resources recede from high to medium levels in the course of aging. Direct empirical support for this hypothesis comes from a study by Nagel et al. (2008), who reported that the effects of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene on cognitive performance are magnified in old age and interacted with the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) gene. We conclude that common genetic polymorphisms contribute to the increasing heterogeneity of cognitive functioning in old age. Extensions of the hypothesis to other polymorphisms are discussed. (150 of 150 words) PMID:19225597

  20. Age-related decline in brain resources modulates genetic effects on cognitive functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulman Lindenberger

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Individual differences in cognitive performance increase from early to late adulthood, likely reflecting influences of a multitude of factors. We hypothesize that losses in neurochemical and anatomical brain resources in normal aging modulate the effects of common genetic variations on cognitive functioning. Our hypothesis is based on the assumption that the function relating brain resources to cognition is nonlinear, so that genetic differences exert increasingly large effects on cognition as resources recede from high to medium levels in the course of aging.Direct empirical support for this hypothesis comes from a study by Nagel et al. (2008, who reported that the effects of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT gene on cognitive performance are magnified in old age and interacted with the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF gene. We conclude that common genetic polymorphisms contribute to the increasing heterogeneity of cognitive functioning in old age. Extensions of the hypothesis to other polymorphisms are discussed.

  1. Brain molecular aging, promotion of neurological disease and modulation by sirtuin 5 longevity gene polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Christin; Oh, Sunghee; Douillard, Gaelle Guilloux; Sibille, Etienne

    2011-02-01

    Mechanisms determining characteristic age-of-onset for neurological diseases are largely unknown. Normal brain aging associates with robust and progressive transcriptome changes ("molecular aging"), but the intersection with disease pathways is mostly uncharacterized. Here, using cross-cohort microarray analysis of four human brain areas, we show that neurological disease pathways largely overlap with molecular aging and that subjects carrying a newly-characterized low-expressing polymorphism in a putative longevity gene (Sirtuin5; SIRT5(prom2)) have older brain molecular ages. Specifically, molecular aging was remarkably conserved across cohorts and brain areas, and included numerous developmental and transcription-regulator genes. Neurological disease-associated genes were highly overrepresented within age-related genes and changed almost unanimously in pro-disease directions, together suggesting an underlying genetic "program" of aging that progressively promotes disease. To begin testing this putative pathway, we developed and used an age-biosignature to assess five candidate longevity gene polymorphisms' association with molecular aging rates. Most robustly, aging was accelerated in cingulate, but not amygdala, of subjects carrying a SIRT5 promoter polymorphism (+9 years, p=0.004), in concordance with cingulate-specific decreased SIRT5 expression. This effect was driven by a set of core transcripts (+24 years, p=0.0004), many of which were mitochondrial, including Parkinson's disease genes, PINK-1 and DJ-1/PARK7, hence suggesting that SIRT5(prom2) may represent a risk factor for mitochondrial dysfunction-related diseases, including Parkinson's, through accelerated molecular aging of disease-related genes. Based on these results we speculate that a "common mechanism" may underlie age-of-onset across several neurological diseases. Confirming this pathway and its regulation by common genetic variants would provide new strategies for predicting, delaying, and

  2. Enhancement of Brain Functions During Aging Through Various Exercises: a Review Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bijay Kumar Bhagat

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Decline of brain and mental functions with aging is a natural biological phenomenon. Scientists have engaged themselves to find out the different ways to protect degeneration and enhance brain functions. Regular exercise is one of the potential area. However, there are controversial and inconclusive results which create further interest of research. Aim: To review scientific literature related to exercise effect on brain and mental function during aging. Methods: Searches were conducted through electronic databases- PubMed, Medline, Springer link, Elsevier, and Google Scholar. The searching terms were: brain function (brain function or cognition or memory or processing speed or learning or executive function and physical exercise (physical exercise or exercise or stretching exercise or strength exercise. Initial search were 11 review studies and 57 randomized control trials. The current study selected 03 review and 08 randomized control trials studies after fulfillment of its requirement. Findings: Long term (>24 weeks combination exercise (aerobic, strength and stretching training can improve memory functions and processing speed in elderly people. Aerobic exercise training and strength training together can contribute to the improvement of episodic memory, executive functions and processing speed in healthy elderly people. Memory can be enhanced through aerobic exercise training and also by doing strength exercise training in healthy older adults. Interpretations: Changes in different brain and mental functions may be occurred due to structural and functional variations. The structural changes may include change in the volume of hippocampus, neurogenesis, angiogenesis, and so on. The physiological variations can include brain plasticity, increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, enhancement of Default Mode Network (DMN, increase the activity of proteasome and neprilysin. Conclusions: Aging brain and mental functions

  3. Homeostatic and injury-induced microglia behavior in the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hefendehl, Jasmin K; Neher, Jonas J; Sühs, Rafael B; Kohsaka, Shinichi; Skodras, Angelos; Jucker, Mathias

    2014-02-01

    Microglia cells are essential for brain homeostasis and have essential roles in neurodegenerative diseases. Aging is the main risk factor for most neurodegenerative diseases, and age-related changes in microglia may contribute to the susceptibility of the aging brain to dysfunction and neurodegeneration. We have analyzed morphology and dynamic behavior of neocortical microglia in their physiological environment in young adult (3-month-old), adult (11- to 12-month-old), and aged (26- to 27-month-old) C57BL/6J-Iba1-eGFP mice using in vivo 2-photon microscopy. Results show that surveying microglial cells in the neocortex exhibit age-related soma volume increase, shortening of processes, and loss of homogeneous tissue distribution. Furthermore, microglial process speed significantly decreased with age. While only a small population of microglia showed soma movement in adult mice, the microglia population with soma movement was increased in aged mice. However, in response to tissue injury, the dynamic microglial response was age-dependently diminished. These results provide novel insights into microglial behavior and indicate that microglial dysfunction in the aging brain may contribute to age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.

  4. miR-186 is decreased in aged brain and suppresses BACE1 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jaekwang; Yoon, Hyejin; Chung, Dah-Eun; Brown, Jennifer L; Belmonte, Krystal C; Kim, Jungsu

    2016-05-01

    Accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) in the brain is a key pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Because aging is the most prominent risk factor for AD, understanding the molecular changes during aging is likely to provide critical insights into AD pathogenesis. However, studies on the role of miRNAs in aging and AD pathogenesis have only recently been initiated. Identifying miRNAs dysregulated by the aging process in the brain may lead to novel understanding of molecular mechanisms of AD pathogenesis. Here, we identified that miR-186 levels are gradually decreased in cortices of mouse brains during aging. In addition, we demonstrated that miR-186 suppresses β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) expression by directly targeting the 3'UTR of Bace1 mRNA in neuronal cells. In contrast, inhibition of endogenous miR-186 significantly increased BACE1 levels in neuronal cells. Importantly, miR-186 over-expression significantly decreased Aβ level by suppressing BACE1 expression in cells expressing human pathogenic mutant amyloid precursor protein. Taken together, our data demonstrate that miR-186 is a potent negative regulator of BACE1 in neuronal cells and it may be one of the molecular links between brain aging and the increased risk for AD during aging. We identified that miR-186 levels are gradually decreased in mouse cortices during aging. Furthermore, we demonstrated that miR-186 is a novel negative regulator of beta-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) expression in neuronal cells. Therefore, we proposed that reduction in miR-186 levels during aging may lead to the up-regulation of BACE1 in the brain, thereby increasing a risk for Alzheimer's disease in aged individuals. Read the Editorial Highlight for this article on page 308.

  5. Stochastic fluctuations in gene expression in aging hippocampal neurons could be exacerbated by traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, Joseph; Boone, Deborah; Weisz, Harris; Jennings, Kristofer; Uchida, Tatsuo; Parsley, Margaret; DeWitt, Douglas; Prough, Donald; Hellmich, Helen

    2016-04-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a risk factor for age-related dementia and development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease that are associated with cognitive decline. The exact mechanism for this risk is unknown but we hypothesized that TBI is exacerbating age-related changes in gene expression. Here, we present evidence in an animal model that experimental TBI increases age-related stochastic gene expression. We compared the variability in expression of several genes associated with cell survival or death, among three groups of laser capture microdissected hippocampal neurons from aging rat brains. TBI increased stochastic fluctuations in gene expression in both dying and surviving neurons compared to the naïve neurons. Increases in random, stochastic fluctuations in prosurvival or prodeath gene expression could potentially alter cell survival or cell death pathways in aging neurons after TBI which may lead to age-related cognitive decline.

  6. Exercise enhances memory consolidation in the aging brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shikha eSnigdha

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Exercise has been shown to reduce age-related losses in cognitive function including learning and memory, but the mechanisms underlying this effect remain poorly understood. Memory formation occurs in stages that include an initial acquisition phase, an intermediate labile phase, and then a process of consolidation which leads to long term memory formation. An effective way to examine the mechanism by which exercise improves memory is to introduce the intervention (exercise, post-acquisition, making it possible to selectively examine memory storage and consolidation. Accordingly we evaluated the effects of post-trial exercise (10 minutes on a treadmill on memory consolidation in aged canines both right after, an hour after, and twenty-four hours after acute exercise training in concurrent discrimination, object location memory (OLM and novel object recognition (NOR tasks. Our study shows that post-trial exercise facilitates memory function by improving memory consolidation in aged animals in a time-dependent manner. The improvements were significant at twenty-four hour post exercise and not right after or one hour after exercise. Aged animals were also tested following chronic exercise (10 min/day for 14 consecutive days on OLM or till criterion were reached (for reversal learning task. We found improvements from a chronic exercise design in both the object location and reversal learning tasks. Our studies suggest that mechanisms to improve overall consolidation and cognitive function remain accessible even with progressing age and can be re-engaged by both acute and chronic exercise.

  7. Exercise enhances memory consolidation in the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snigdha, Shikha; de Rivera, Christina; Milgram, Norton W; Cotman, Carl W

    2014-01-01

    Exercise has been shown to reduce age-related losses in cognitive function including learning and memory, but the mechanisms underlying this effect remain poorly understood. Memory formation occurs in stages that include an initial acquisition phase, an intermediate labile phase, and then a process of consolidation which leads to long-term memory formation. An effective way to examine the mechanism by which exercise improves memory is to introduce the intervention (exercise), post-acquisition, making it possible to selectively examine memory storage and consolidation. Accordingly we evaluated the effects of post-trial exercise (10 min on a treadmill) on memory consolidation in aged canines both right after, an hour after, and 24 h after acute exercise training in concurrent discrimination, object location memory (OLM), and novel object recognition tasks. Our study shows that post-trial exercise facilitates memory function by improving memory consolidation in aged animals in a time-dependent manner. The improvements were significant at 24 h post-exercise and not right after or 1 h after exercise. Aged animals were also tested following chronic exercise (10 min/day for 14 consecutive days) on OLM or till criterion were reached (for reversal learning task). We found improvements from a chronic exercise design in both the object location and reversal learning tasks. Our studies suggest that mechanisms to improve overall consolidation and cognitive function remain accessible even with progressing age and can be re-engaged by both acute and chronic exercise.

  8. Age differences in brain activity during emotion processing: reflections of age-related decline or increased emotion regulation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nashiro, Kaoru; Sakaki, Michiko; Mather, Mara

    2012-01-01

    Despite the fact that physical health and cognitive abilities decline with aging, the ability to regulate emotion remains stable and in some aspects improves across the adult life span. Older adults also show a positivity effect in their attention and memory, with diminished processing of negative stimuli relative to positive stimuli compared with younger adults. The current paper reviews functional magnetic resonance imaging studies investigating age-related differences in emotional processing and discusses how this evidence relates to two opposing theoretical accounts of older adults' positivity effect. The aging-brain model [Cacioppo et al. in: Social Neuroscience: Toward Understanding the Underpinnings of the Social Mind. New York, Oxford University Press, 2011] proposes that older adults' positivity effect is a consequence of age-related decline in the amygdala, whereas the cognitive control hypothesis [Kryla-Lighthall and Mather in: Handbook of Theories of Aging, ed 2. New York, Springer, 2009; Mather and Carstensen: Trends Cogn Sci 2005;9:496-502; Mather and Knight: Psychol Aging 2005;20:554-570] argues that the positivity effect is a result of older adults' greater focus on regulating emotion. Based on evidence for structural and functional preservation of the amygdala in older adults and findings that older adults show greater prefrontal cortex activity than younger adults while engaging in emotion-processing tasks, we argue that the cognitive control hypothesis is a more likely explanation for older adults' positivity effect than the aging-brain model.

  9. Brain tumors in children and adolescents: cognitive and psychological disorders at different ages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poggi, Geraldina; Liscio, Mariarosaria; Galbiati, Susanna; Adduci, Annarita; Massimino, Maura; Gandola, Lorenza; Spreafico, Filippo; Clerici, Carlo Alfredo; Fossati-Bellani, Franca; Sommovigo, Michela; Castelli, Enrico

    2005-05-01

    Cognitive and psychological disorders are among the most frequently observed sequelae in brain tumor survivors. The goal of this work was to verify the presence of these disorders in a group of children and adolescents diagnosed with brain tumor before age 18 years, differentiate these disorders according to age of assessment, identify correlations between the two types of impairments and define possible associations between these impairments and clinical variables. The study involved 76 patients diagnosed with brain tumor before age 18 years. Three age groups were formed, and all the patients received a standardized battery of age-matched cognitive and psychological tests. According to our findings, all three groups present with cognitive and psychological-behavioral disorders. Their frequency varies according to age of onset and is strongly associated to time since diagnosis. The performance intelligence quotient (PIQ) was more impaired than the verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ). Internalizing problems, withdrawal and social problems were the most frequent psychological disorders. Correlations were found between cognitive impairment and the onset of the main psychological and behavioral disorders. These findings are relevant as they point out the long-term outcome of brain tumor survivors. Hence, the recommendation to diversify psychological interventions and rehabilitation plans according to the patients' age.

  10. Major Shifts in Glial Regional Identity Are a Transcriptional Hallmark of Human Brain Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilach Soreq

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Gene expression studies suggest that aging of the human brain is determined by a complex interplay of molecular events, although both its region- and cell-type-specific consequences remain poorly understood. Here, we extensively characterized aging-altered gene expression changes across ten human brain regions from 480 individuals ranging in age from 16 to 106 years. We show that astrocyte- and oligodendrocyte-specific genes, but not neuron-specific genes, shift their regional expression patterns upon aging, particularly in the hippocampus and substantia nigra, while the expression of microglia- and endothelial-specific genes increase in all brain regions. In line with these changes, high-resolution immunohistochemistry demonstrated decreased numbers of oligodendrocytes and of neuronal subpopulations in the aging brain cortex. Finally, glial-specific genes predict age with greater precision than neuron-specific genes, thus highlighting the need for greater mechanistic understanding of neuron-glia interactions in aging and late-life diseases.

  11. Effect of aging on brain respiration and carbohydrate metabolism of Syrian hamsters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, J H; Parmacek, M S; Patel-Mandlik, K

    1975-01-01

    Syrian hamsters were used to study the effect of aging on brain slice respiration and metabolism. Young animals (average age 8 months) and old animals (average age 18 months) were incubated under standard conditions with the following parameters being measured: oxygen uptake, 14CO2 production, glucose utilization, lactate and pyruvate formation. No differences were found in the two groups. It is still very likely that subtle differences exist but can only be documented under conditions of metabolic stress.

  12. Fitness, but not physical activity, is related to functional integrity of brain networks associated with aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Michelle W; Weng, Timothy B; Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Wong, Chelsea N; Cooke, Gillian E; Clark, Rachel; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth; Gothe, Neha P; Olson, Erin A; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F

    2016-05-01

    Greater physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with reduced age-related cognitive decline and lower risk for dementia. However, significant gaps remain in the understanding of how physical activity and fitness protect the brain from adverse effects of brain aging. The primary goal of the current study was to empirically evaluate the independent relationships between physical activity and fitness with functional brain health among healthy older adults, as measured by the functional connectivity of cognitively and clinically relevant resting state networks. To build context for fitness and physical activity associations in older adults, we first demonstrate that young adults have greater within-network functional connectivity across a broad range of cortical association networks. Based on these results and previous research, we predicted that individual differences in fitness and physical activity would be most strongly associated with functional integrity of the networks most sensitive to aging. Consistent with this prediction, and extending on previous research, we showed that cardiorespiratory fitness has a positive relationship with functional connectivity of several cortical networks associated with age-related decline, and effects were strongest in the default mode network (DMN). Furthermore, our results suggest that the positive association of fitness with brain function can occur independent of habitual physical activity. Overall, our findings provide further support that cardiorespiratory fitness is an important factor in moderating the adverse effects of aging on cognitively and clinically relevant functional brain networks.

  13. Exceptional Brain Aging in a Rural Population-Based Cohort

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaye, Jeffrey; Michael, Yvonne; Calvert, James; Leahy, Marjorie; Crawford, Debbie; Kramer, Patricia

    2009-01-01

    Context: The 2000 US Census identified 50,454 Americans over the age of 100. Increased longevity is only of benefit if accompanied by maintenance of independence and quality of life. Little is known about the prevalence of dementia and other disabling conditions among rural centenarians although this information is important to clinicians caring…

  14. Grape juice, berries and walnuts affect brain aging and behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Numerous studies have indicated that individuals consuming a diet containing high amounts of fruits and vegetables exhibit fewer age-related diseases such as Alzheimer Disease (AD). A recent report has indicated that individuals who consumed a diet containing 2.5 servings of fruit and vegetables/day...

  15. Hot Topics in Research: Preventive Neuroradiology in Brain Aging and Cognitive Decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raji, C A; Eyre, H; Wei, S H; Bredesen, D E; Moylan, S; Law, M; Small, G; Thompson, P M; Friedlander, R M; Silverman, D H; Baune, B T; Hoang, T A; Salamon, N; Toga, A W; Vernooij, M W

    2015-10-01

    Preventive neuroradiology is a new concept supported by growing literature. The main rationale of preventive neuroradiology is the application of multimodal brain imaging toward early and subclinical detection of brain disease and subsequent preventive actions through identification of modifiable risk factors. An insightful example of this is in the area of age-related cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia with potentially modifiable risk factors such as obesity, diet, sleep, hypertension, diabetes, depression, supplementation, smoking, and physical activity. In studying this link between lifestyle and cognitive decline, brain imaging markers may be instrumental as quantitative measures or even indicators of early disease. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the major studies reflecting how lifestyle factors affect the brain and cognition aging. In this hot topics review, we will specifically focus on obesity and physical activity.

  16. Aging aggravates ischemic stroke-induced brain damage in mice with chronic peripheral infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhungana, Hiramani; Malm, Tarja; Denes, Adam; Valonen, Piia; Wojciechowski, Sara; Magga, Johanna; Savchenko, Ekaterina; Humphreys, Neil; Grencis, Richard; Rothwell, Nancy; Koistinaho, Jari

    2013-10-01

    Ischemic stroke is confounded by conditions such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and infection, all of which alter peripheral inflammatory processes with concomitant impact on stroke outcome. The majority of the stroke patients are elderly, but the impact of interactions between aging and inflammation on stroke remains unknown. We thus investigated the influence of age on the outcome of stroke in animals predisposed to systemic chronic infection. Th1-polarized chronic systemic infection was induced in 18-22 month and 4-month-old C57BL/6j mice by administration of Trichuris muris (gut parasite). One month after infection, mice underwent permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion and infarct size, brain gliosis, and brain and plasma cytokine profiles were analyzed. Chronic infection increased the infarct size in aged but not in young mice at 24 h. Aged, ischemic mice showed altered plasma and brain cytokine responses, while the lesion size correlated with plasma prestroke levels of RANTES. Moreover, the old, infected mice exhibited significantly increased neutrophil recruitment and upregulation of both plasma interleukin-17α and tumor necrosis factor-α levels. Neither age nor infection status alone or in combination altered the ischemia-induced brain microgliosis. Our results show that chronic peripheral infection in aged animals renders the brain more vulnerable to ischemic insults, possibly by increasing the invasion of neutrophils and altering the inflammation status in the blood and brain. Understanding the interactions between age and infections is crucial for developing a better therapeutic regimen for ischemic stroke and when modeling it as a disease of the elderly.

  17. A Systematic Investigation into Aging Related Genes in Brain and Their Relationship with Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Guofeng; Zhong, Xiaoyan; Mei, Hongkang

    2016-01-01

    Aging, as a complex biological process, is accompanied by the accumulation of functional loses at different levels, which makes age to be the biggest risk factor to many neurological diseases. Even following decades of investigation, the process of aging is still far from being fully understood, especially at a systematic level. In this study, we identified aging related genes in brain by collecting the ones with sustained and consistent gene expression or DNA methylation changes in the aging process. Functional analysis with Gene Ontology to these genes suggested transcriptional regulators to be the most affected genes in the aging process. Transcription regulation analysis found some transcription factors, especially Specificity Protein 1 (SP1), to play important roles in regulating aging related gene expression. Module-based functional analysis indicated these genes to be associated with many well-known aging related pathways, supporting the validity of our approach to select aging related genes. Finally, we investigated the roles of aging related genes on Alzheimer's Disease (AD). We found that aging and AD related genes both involved some common pathways, which provided a possible explanation why aging made the brain more vulnerable to Alzheimer's Disease.

  18. Diffusional anisotropy of the human brain assessed with diffusion-weighted MR: Relation with normal brain development and aging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nomura, Toshiyuki; Sakuma, Hajime; Takeda, Kan; Tagami, Tomoyasu; Okuda, Yasuyuki; Nakagawa, Tsuyoshi (Mie Univ. School of Medicine (Japan))

    1994-02-01

    To analyze diffusional anisotropy in frontal and occipital white matter of human brain quantitatively as a function of age by using diffusion-weighted MR imaging. Ten neonates (<1 month), 13 infants (1-10 months), 9 children (1-11 years), and 16 adults (20-79 years) were examined. After taking axial spin-echo images of the brain, diffusion-sensitive gradients were added parallel or perpendicular to the orientation of nerve fibers. The apparent diffusion coefficient parallel to the nerve fibers (0) and that perpendicular to the fibers (90) were computed. The anisotropic ratio (90/0) was calculated as a function of age. Anisotropic ratios of frontal white matter were significantly larger in neonates as compared with infants, children, or adults. The ratios showed rapid decrease until 6 months and thereafter were identical in all subjects. In the occipital lobe, the ratios were also greater in neonates, but the differences from other age groups were not so prominent as in the frontal lobe. Comparing anisotropic ratios between frontal and occipital lobes, a significant difference was observed only in neonates. Diffusion-weighted images demonstrated that the myelination process starts earlier in the occipital lobe than in the frontal lobe. The changes of diffusional anisotropy in white matter are completed within 6 months after birth. Diffusion-weighted imaging provides earlier detection of brain myelination compared with the conventional T1- and T2-weighted images. 18 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  19. Brain Events Underlying Episodic Memory Changes in Aging: A Longitudinal Investigation of Structural and Functional Connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fjell, Anders M; Sneve, Markus H; Storsve, Andreas B; Grydeland, Håkon; Yendiki, Anastasia; Walhovd, Kristine B

    2016-03-01

    Episodic memories are established and maintained by close interplay between hippocampus and other cortical regions, but degradation of a fronto-striatal network has been suggested to be a driving force of memory decline in aging. We wanted to directly address how changes in hippocampal-cortical versus striatal-cortical networks over time impact episodic memory with age. We followed 119 healthy participants (20-83 years) for 3.5 years with repeated tests of episodic verbal memory and magnetic resonance imaging for quantification of functional and structural connectivity and regional brain atrophy. While hippocampal-cortical functional connectivity predicted memory change in young, changes in cortico-striatal functional connectivity were related to change in recall in older adults. Within each age group, effects of functional and structural connectivity were anatomically closely aligned. Interestingly, the relationship between functional connectivity and memory was strongest in the age ranges where the rate of reduction of the relevant brain structure was lowest, implying selective impacts of the different brain events on memory. Together, these findings suggest a partly sequential and partly simultaneous model of brain events underlying cognitive changes in aging, where different functional and structural events are more or less important in various time windows, dismissing a simple uni-factorial view on neurocognitive aging.

  20. White Matter Lipids as a Ketogenic Fuel Supply in Aging Female Brain: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klosinski, Lauren P; Yao, Jia; Yin, Fei; Fonteh, Alfred N; Harrington, Michael G; Christensen, Trace A; Trushina, Eugenia; Brinton, Roberta Diaz

    2015-12-01

    White matter degeneration is a pathological hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's. Age remains the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's and the prevalence of age-related late onset Alzheimer's is greatest in females. We investigated mechanisms underlying white matter degeneration in an animal model consistent with the sex at greatest Alzheimer's risk. Results of these analyses demonstrated decline in mitochondrial respiration, increased mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide production and cytosolic-phospholipase-A2 sphingomyelinase pathway activation during female brain aging. Electron microscopic and lipidomic analyses confirmed myelin degeneration. An increase in fatty acids and mitochondrial fatty acid metabolism machinery was coincident with a rise in brain ketone bodies and decline in plasma ketone bodies. This mechanistic pathway and its chronologically phased activation, links mitochondrial dysfunction early in aging with later age development of white matter degeneration. The catabolism of myelin lipids to generate ketone bodies can be viewed as a systems level adaptive response to address brain fuel and energy demand. Elucidation of the initiating factors and the mechanistic pathway leading to white matter catabolism in the aging female brain provides potential therapeutic targets to prevent and treat demyelinating diseases such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. Targeting stages of disease and associated mechanisms will be critical.

  1. Exercise enhances memory consolidation in the aging brain

    OpenAIRE

    Shikha eSnigdha; Christina ede Rivera; Milgram, Norton W.; Carl eCotman

    2014-01-01

    Exercise has been shown to reduce age-related losses in cognitive function including learning and memory, but the mechanisms underlying this effect remain poorly understood. Memory formation occurs in stages that include an initial acquisition phase, an intermediate labile phase, and then a process of consolidation which leads to long term memory formation. An effective way to examine the mechanism by which exercise improves memory is to introduce the intervention (exercise), post-acquisition...

  2. Fluid intelligence and brain functional organization in aging yoga and meditation practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gard, Tim; Taquet, Maxime; Dixit, Rohan; Hölzel, Britta K; de Montjoye, Yves-Alexandre; Brach, Narayan; Salat, David H; Dickerson, Bradford C; Gray, Jeremy R; Lazar, Sara W

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies have documented the normal age-related decline of neural structure, function, and cognitive performance. Preliminary evidence suggests that meditation may reduce decline in specific cognitive domains and in brain structure. Here we extended this research by investigating the relation between age and fluid intelligence and resting state brain functional network architecture using graph theory, in middle-aged yoga and meditation practitioners, and matched controls. Fluid intelligence declined slower in yoga practitioners and meditators combined than in controls. Resting state functional networks of yoga practitioners and meditators combined were more integrated and more resilient to damage than those of controls. Furthermore, mindfulness was positively correlated with fluid intelligence, resilience, and global network efficiency. These findings reveal the possibility to increase resilience and to slow the decline of fluid intelligence and brain functional architecture and suggest that mindfulness plays a mechanistic role in this preservation.

  3. Fluid intelligence and brain functional organization in aging yoga and meditation practitioners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim eGard

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have documented the normal age-related decline of neural structure, function, and cognitive performance. Preliminary evidence suggests that meditation may reduce decline in specific cognitive domains and in brain structure. Here we extended this research by investigating the relation between age and fluid intelligence and resting state brain functional network architecture using graph theory, in middle-aged yoga and meditation practitioners, and matched controls. Fluid intelligence declined slower in yoga practitioners and meditators combined than in controls. Resting state functional networks of yoga practitioners and meditators combined were more integrated and more resilient to damage than those of controls. Furthermore, mindfulness was positively correlated with fluid intelligence, resilience, and global network efficiency. These findings reveal the possibility to increase resilience and to slow the decline of fluid intelligence and brain functional architecture and suggest that mindfulness plays a mechanistic role in this preservation.

  4. Practice-Oriented Retest Learning as the Basic Form of Cognitive Plasticity of the Aging Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lixia Yang

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been well documented that aging is associated with declines in a variety of cognitive functions. A growing body of research shows that the age-related cognitive declines are reversible through cognitive training programs, suggesting maintained cognitive plasticity of the aging brain. Retest learning represents a basic form of cognitive plasticity. It has been consistently demonstrated for adults in young-old and old-old ages. Accumulated research indicates that retest learning is effective, robust, endurable and could occur at a more conceptual level beyond item-specific memorization. Recent studies also demonstrate promisingly broader transfer effects from retest practice of activities involving complex executive functioning to other untrained tasks. The results shed light on the development of self-guided mental exercise programs to improve cognitive performance and efficiency of the aging brain. The relevant studies were reviewed, and the findings were discussed in light of their limitations, implications, and future directions.

  5. Age-related changes of metallothionein 1/2 and metallothionein 3 expression in rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scudiero, Rosaria; Cigliano, Luisa; Verderame, Mariailaria

    2017-01-01

    Neurodegeneration is one of the main physiological consequences of aging on brain. Metallothioneins (MTs), low molecular weight, cysteine-rich proteins that bind heavy-metal ions and oxygen-free radicals, are commonly expressed in various tissues of mammals. MTs are involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and protection, and may be engaged in aging. Expression of the ubiquitous MTs (1 and 2) and the brain specific MT3 have been studied in many neurodegenerative disorders. The research results indicate that MTs may play important, although not yet fully known, roles in brain diseases; in addition, data lack the ability to identify the MT isoforms functionally involved. The aim of this study was to analyse the level of gene expression of selected MT isoforms during brain aging. By using real-time PCR analysis, we determined the MT1/2 and MT3 expression profiles in cerebral cortex and hippocampus of adolescent (2months), adult (4 and 8months), and middle-aged (16months) rats. We show that the relative abundance of all types of MT transcripts changes during aging in both hippocampus and cortex; the first effect is a generalized decrease in the content of MTs transcripts from 2- to 8-months-old rats. After passing middle age, at 16months, we observe a huge increase in MT3 transcripts in both cortical and hippocampal areas, while the MT1/2 mRNA content increases slightly, returning to the levels measured in adolescent rats. These findings demonstrate an age-related expression of the MT3 gene. A possible link between the increasing amount of MT3 in brain aging and its different metal-binding behaviour is discussed.

  6. Characterizing structural association alterations within brain networks in normal aging using Gaussian Bayesian networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xiaojuan; Wang, Yan; Chen, Kewei; Wu, Xia; Zhang, Jiacai; Li, Ke; Jin, Zhen; Yao, Li

    2014-01-01

    Recent multivariate neuroimaging studies have revealed aging-related alterations in brain structural networks. However, the sensory/motor networks such as the auditory, visual and motor networks, have obtained much less attention in normal aging research. In this study, we used Gaussian Bayesian networks (BN), an approach investigating possible inter-regional directed relationship, to characterize aging effects on structural associations between core brain regions within each of these structural sensory/motor networks using volumetric MRI data. We then further examined the discriminability of BN models for the young (N = 109; mean age =22.73 years, range 20-28) and old (N = 82; mean age =74.37 years, range 60-90) groups. The results of the BN modeling demonstrated that structural associations exist between two homotopic brain regions from the left and right hemispheres in each of the three networks. In particular, compared with the young group, the old group had significant connection reductions in each of the three networks and lesser connection numbers in the visual network. Moreover, it was found that the aging-related BN models could distinguish the young and old individuals with 90.05, 73.82, and 88.48% accuracy for the auditory, visual, and motor networks, respectively. Our findings suggest that BN models can be used to investigate the normal aging process with reliable statistical power. Moreover, these differences in structural inter-regional interactions may help elucidate the neuronal mechanism of anatomical changes in normal aging.

  7. Brain white matter structure and information processing speed in healthy older age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsova, Ksenia A; Maniega, Susana Muñoz; Ritchie, Stuart J; Cox, Simon R; Storkey, Amos J; Starr, John M; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Deary, Ian J; Bastin, Mark E

    2016-07-01

    Cognitive decline, especially the slowing of information processing speed, is associated with normal ageing. This decline may be due to brain cortico-cortical disconnection caused by age-related white matter deterioration. We present results from a large, narrow age range cohort of generally healthy, community-dwelling subjects in their seventies who also had their cognitive ability tested in youth (age 11 years). We investigate associations between older age brain white matter structure, several measures of information processing speed and childhood cognitive ability in 581 subjects. Analysis of diffusion tensor MRI data using Tract-based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) showed that all measures of information processing speed, as well as a general speed factor composed from these tests (g speed), were significantly associated with fractional anisotropy (FA) across the white matter skeleton rather than in specific tracts. Cognitive ability measured at age 11 years was not associated with older age white matter FA, except for the g speed-independent components of several individual processing speed tests. These results indicate that quicker and more efficient information processing requires global connectivity in older age, and that associations between white matter FA and information processing speed (both individual test scores and g speed), unlike some other aspects of later life brain structure, are generally not accounted for by cognitive ability measured in youth.

  8. Working memory in middle-aged males: age-related brain activation changes and cognitive fatigue effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaassen, Elissa B; Evers, Elisabeth A T; de Groot, Renate H M; Backes, Walter H; Veltman, Dick J; Jolles, Jelle

    2014-02-01

    We examined the effects of aging and cognitive fatigue on working memory (WM) related brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Age-related differences were investigated in 13 young and 16 middle-aged male school teachers. Cognitive fatigue was induced by sustained performance on cognitively demanding tasks (compared to a control condition). Results showed a main effect of age on left dorsolateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortex activation during WM encoding; greater activation was evident in middle-aged than young adults regardless of WM load or fatigue condition. An interaction effect was found in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC); WM load-dependent activation was elevated in middle-aged compared to young in the control condition, but did not differ in the fatigue condition due to a reduction in activation in middle-aged in contrast to an increase in activation in the young group. These findings demonstrate age-related activation differences and differential effects of fatigue on activation in young and middle-aged adults.

  9. [Research of anti-aging mechanism of ginsenoside Rg1 on brain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cheng-peng; Zhang, Meng-si; Liu, Jun; Geng, Shan; Li, Jing; Zhu, Jia-hong; Zhang, Yan-yan; Jia, Yan-yan; Wang, Lu; Wang, Shun-he; Wang, Ya-ping

    2014-11-01

    Neurodegenerative disease is common and frequently occurs in elderly patients. Previous studies have shown that ginsenoside Rg1 was able to inhibit senescent of brain, but the mechanism on the brain during the treatment remains elucidated. To study the mechanism of ginsenoside Rg1 in the process of anti-aging of brain, forty male SD rats were randomly divided into normal group, Rg1 normal group, brain aging model group and Rg1 brain aging model group, each group with 10 rats (brain aging model group: subcutaneous injection of D-galactose (120 mg kg(-1)), qd for 42 consecutive days; Rg1 brain aging model group: while copying the same test as that of brain aging model group, begin intraperitoneal injection of ginsenosides Rg1 (20 mg x kg(-1)) qd for 27 d from 16 d. Rg1 normal group: subcutaneous injection of the same amount of saline; begin intraperitoneal injection of ginsenosides Rg1 (20 mg x kg(-1)) qd for 27 d from 16 d. Normal: injected with an equal volume of saline within the same time. Perform the related experiment on the second day after finishing copying the model or the completion of the first two days of drug injections). Learning and memory abilities were measured by Morris water maze. The number of senescent cells was detected by SA-beta-Gal staining while the level of IL-1 and IL-6 proinflammatory cytokines in hippocampus were detected by ELISA. The activities of SOD, contents of GSH in hippo- campus were quantified by chromatometry. The change of telomerase activities and telomerase length were performed by TRAP-PCR and southern blotting assay, respectively. It is pointed that, in brain aging model group, the spatial learning and memory capacities were weaken, SA-beta-Gal positive granules increased in section of brain tissue, the activity of antioxidant enzyme SOD and the contents of GSH decreased in hippocampus, the level of IL-1 and IL-6 increased in hippocampus, while the length of telomere and the activity of telomerase decreased in hippocampus

  10. Mindfulness and the aging brain: A proposed paradigm shift

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruchika Shaurya Prakash

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available There has been a proliferation of cognitive training studies investigating the efficacy of various cognitive training paradigms as well as strategies for improving cognitive control in the elderly. While some have found support for the transfer of training, the majority of training studies show modest to no transfer effects. When transfer effects have been observed, the mechanisms contributing to enhanced functioning have been difficult to dissociate. In this review, we provide a theoretical rationale for the study of mindfulness in older adults as a particular type of training program designed to improve cognitive control by capitalizing on older adults’ acquired behavioral orientation toward higher socioemotional goals. Given the synergistic relationship between emotional and cognitive control processes, the paradoxical divergence in older adults’ functional trajectory in these respective domains, and the harmonious interplay of cognitive and emotional control embedded in the practice of mindfulness, we propose mindfulness training as an opportunistic approach to cultivating cognitive benefits in older adults. The study of mindfulness within aging, we argue, capitalizes on a fundamental finding of the socioemotional aging literature, namely the preferential change in motivational goals of older adults from ones involving future-oriented wants and desires to present-focused emotion regulation and gratification.

  11. Brain aging and its modifiers: insights from in vivo neuromorphometry and susceptibility weighted imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raz, Naftali; Rodrigue, Karen M; Haacke, E Mark

    2007-02-01

    Aging is marked by individual differences and differential vulnerability of cognitive operations and their neural substrates. Cross-sectional studies of brain volume reveal greater age-related shrinkage of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the hippocampus than in the entorhinal and primary visual cortex. Longitudinal studies of regional brain shrinkage indicate that when individual differences are controlled, larger and broader shrinkage estimates are evident, with most polymodal cortices affected to the same extent. The mechanisms of age-related shrinkage are unclear. Vascular risk factors may exacerbate brain aging and account for some of the observed declines as both the PFC and the hippocampus show elevated vulnerability to hypertension. MRI techniques that are sensitive to small vessels function, tissue oxygenation, and perfusion may be especially well suited to study brain aging and its vascular modifiers. We present an example of one such technique, susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI), that allows direct measurement of T2* values that reflect deoxy- to oxyhemoglobin fraction in blood vessels and iron deposits in cerebral tissue. The T2* shortening is associated with advanced age, but the effect is significantly stronger in the PFC and the hippocampus than the entorhinal and visual cortices. Moreover, T2* is shorter in hypertensive participants than in their matched normotensive counterparts, and the difference is especially prominent in the hippocampus, thus mirroring the findings of the neuromorphometric studies. Future research on brain aging would benefit from combining structural and metabolic techniques in a longitudinal design, as such studies will allow examination of leading-trailing effects of those factors.

  12. Brain tissue volumes in the general population of the elderly: the AGES-Reykjavik study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurdsson, Sigurdur; Aspelund, Thor; Forsberg, Lars; Fredriksson, Jesper; Kjartansson, Olafur; Oskarsdottir, Bryndis; Jonsson, Palmi V; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Harris, Tamara B; Zijdenbos, Alex; van Buchem, Mark A; Launer, Lenore J; Gudnason, Vilmundur

    2012-02-15

    Imaging studies have reported conflicting findings on how brain structure differs with age and sex. This may be explained by discrepancies and limitations in study population and study design. We report a study on brain tissue volumes in one of the largest cohorts of individuals studied to date of subjects with high mean age (mean ± standard deviation (SD) 76 ± 6 years). These analyses are based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans acquired at baseline on 4303 non-demented elderly, and 367 who had a second MRI, on average 2.5 ± 0.2 years later. Tissue segmentation was performed with an automatic image analysis pipeline. Total brain parenchymal (TBP) volume decreased with increasing age while there was an increase in white matter hyperintensities (WMH) in both sexes. A reduction in both normal white matter (NWM)- and gray matter (GM) volume contributed to the brain shrinkage. After adjusting for intra-cranial volume, women had larger brain volumes compared to men (3.32%, p < 0.001) for TBP volume in the cross-sectional analysis. The longitudinal analysis showed a significant age-sex interaction in TBP volume with a greater rate of annual change in men (-0.70%, 95%CI: -0.78% to -0.63%) than women (-0.55%, 95%CI: -0.61% to -0.49%). The annual change in the cross-sectional data was approximately 40% less than the annual change in the longitudinal data and did not show significant age-sex interaction. The findings indicate that the cross-sectional data underestimate the rate of change in tissue volumes with age as the longitudinal data show greater rate of change in tissue volumes with age for all tissues.

  13. Whole brain N-acetylaspartate concentration is conserved throughout normal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, William E; Gass, Achim; Glodzik, Lidia; Babb, James S; Hirsch, Jochen; Sollberger, Marc; Achtnichts, Lutz; Amann, Michael; Monsch, Andreas U; Gonen, Oded

    2012-10-01

    We hypothesize that normal aging implies neuronal durability, reflected by age-independent concentrations of their marker--the amino acid derivative N-acetylaspartate (NAA). To test this, we obtained the whole-brain and whole-head N-acetylaspartate concentrations (WBNAA and WHNAA) with proton magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy; and the fractional brain parenchyma volume (fBPV)--a metric of atrophy, by segmenting the magnetic resonance image (MRI) from 42 (18 male) healthy young (31.9 ± 5.8 years old) and 100 (64 male, 72.6 ± 7.3 years old) cognitively normal elderly. The 12.8 ± 1.9 mM WBNAA of the young was not significantly different from the 13.1 ± 3.1 mM in the elderly (p > 0.05). In contrast, both fBPV (87.3 ± 4.7% vs. 74.8 ± 4.8%) and WHNAA (11.1 ± 1.7 mM vs. 9.8 ± 2.4 mM) were significantly higher in the young (approximately 14%; p normal aging apart suggests that neuronal integrity is maintained across the lifespan. Clinically, WBNAA could be used as a marker for normal (hence, also abnormal) brain aging. In contrast, WHNAA and fBPV seem age-related suggesting that brain atrophy may occur without compromising the remaining tissue.

  14. Aging Effects on Whole-Brain Functional Connectivity in Adults Free of Cognitive and Psychiatric Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Luiz Kobuti; Regina, Ana Carolina Brocanello; Kovacevic, Natasa; Martin, Maria da Graça Morais; Santos, Pedro Paim; Carneiro, Camila de Godoi; Kerr, Daniel Shikanai; Amaro, Edson; McIntosh, Anthony Randal; Busatto, Geraldo F

    2016-09-01

    Aging is associated with decreased resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) within the default mode network (DMN), but most functional imaging studies have restricted the analysis to specific brain regions or networks, a strategy not appropriate to describe system-wide changes. Moreover, few investigations have employed operational psychiatric interviewing procedures to select participants; this is an important limitation since mental disorders are prevalent and underdiagnosed and can be associated with RSFC abnormalities. In this study, resting-state fMRI was acquired from 59 adults free of cognitive and psychiatric disorders according to standardized criteria and based on extensive neuropsychological and clinical assessments. We tested for associations between age and whole-brain RSFC using Partial Least Squares, a multivariate technique. We found that normal aging is not only characterized by decreased RSFC within the DMN but also by ubiquitous increases in internetwork positive correlations and focal internetwork losses of anticorrelations (involving mainly connections between the DMN and the attentional networks). Our results reinforce the notion that the aging brain undergoes a dedifferentiation processes with loss of functional diversity. These findings advance the characterization of healthy aging effects on RSFC and highlight the importance of adopting a broad, system-wide perspective to analyze brain connectivity.

  15. Effects of diet & behavioral enrichment on free fatty acids in the aged canine brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snigdha, Shikha; Astarita, Giuseppe; Piomelli, Daniele; Cotman, Carl W.

    2012-01-01

    Despite several recent studies suggesting that dysregulation of brain lipid metabolism might contribute to the mechanisms of aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), lipid metabolism has not been evaluated extensively in the aging brain. Here, we use a lipidomic approach to demonstrate that antioxidants plus mitochondrial cofactors treatment, either alone or in combination with behavioral enrichment, attenuates lipid abnormalities in the frontal cortices of aged canine in a manner correlated with cognitive scores. Our analyses revealed that the levels of free palmitoleic acid and nervonic acid were decreased in frontal cortices of aged dogs (n=5-6/group) treated with antioxidant compared to the control group. The monounsaturated/saturated fatty acid ratio, also known as ‘desaturation index’ - an ex-vivo indicator of stearoyl-CoA desaturase activity, was also reduced in the frontal cortex of dogs treated with antioxidants compared to control groups. Increased palmitoleic acid levels and desaturation index were positively correlated with increased reversal learning errors and decreased cognitive performance. In conclusion, our study indicates that the addition of antioxidants and mitochondrial cofactors to the regular diet alters the composition of free fatty acids in the aged brain. Together with data showing increased palmitoleic acid levels in AD patients, our data suggest that reducing palmitoleic acid levels and desaturation index in the brain may be associated with improved cognitive performance. PMID:22183056

  16. Forecasting Age-Specific Brain Cancer Mortality Rates Using Functional Data Analysis Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keshav P. Pokhrel

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Incidence and mortality rates are considered as a guideline for planning public health strategies and allocating resources. We apply functional data analysis techniques to model age-specific brain cancer mortality trend and forecast entire age-specific functions using exponential smoothing state-space models. The age-specific mortality curves are decomposed using principal component analysis and fit functional time series model with basis functions. Nonparametric smoothing methods are used to mitigate the existing randomness in the observed data. We use functional time series model on age-specific brain cancer mortality rates and forecast mortality curves with prediction intervals using exponential smoothing state-space model. We also present a disparity of brain cancer mortality rates among the age groups together with the rate of change of mortality rates. The data were obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER program of the United States. The brain cancer mortality rates, classified under International Classification Disease code ICD-O-3, were extracted from SEER*Stat software.

  17. Selective attention to emotion in the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R; Robertson, Elaine R; Mikels, Joseph A; Carstensen, Laura L; Gotlib, Ian H

    2009-09-01

    A growing body of research suggests that the ability to regulate emotion remains stable or improves across the adult life span. Socioemotional selectivity theory maintains that this pattern of findings reflects the prioritization of emotional goals. Given that goal-directed behavior requires attentional control, the present study was designed to investigate age differences in selective attention to emotional lexical stimuli under conditions of emotional interference. Both neural and behavioral measures were obtained during an experiment in which participants completed a flanker task that required them to make categorical judgments about emotional and nonemotional stimuli. Older adults showed interference in both the behavioral and neural measures on control trials but not on emotion trials. Although older adults typically show relatively high levels of interference and reduced cognitive control during nonemotional tasks, they appear to be able to successfully reduce interference during emotional tasks.

  18. Impact of Markov Random Field Optimizer on MRI-based Tissue Segmentation in the Aging Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Christopher G.; Tsui, Alex; Fletcher, Evan; Singh, Baljeet; DeCarli, Charles; Carmichael, Owen

    2013-01-01

    Automatically segmenting brain magnetic resonance images into grey matter, white matter, and cerebrospinal fluid compartments is a fundamentally important neuroimaging problem whose difficulty is heightened in the presence of aging and neurodegenerative disease. Current methods overlap greatly in terms of identifiable algorithmic components, and the impact of specific components on performance is generally unclear in important real-world scenarios involving serial scanning, multiple scanners, and neurodegenerative disease. Therefore we evaluated the impact that one such component, the Markov Random Field (MRF) optimizer that encourages spatially-smooth tissue labelings, has on brain tissue segmentation performance. Two challenging elderly sets were used to test segmentation consistency across scanners and biological plausibility of tissue change estimates; and a simulated young brain data set was used to test accuracy against ground truth. Comparisons among Graph Cuts (GC), Belief Propagation (BP), and Iterative Conditional Modes (ICM) suggested that in the elderly brain, BP and GC provide the highest segmentation performance, with a slight advantage to BP, and that performance is often superior to that provided by popular methods SPM and FAST. Conversely, SPM and FAST excelled in the young brain, thus emphasizing the unique challenges involved in imaging the aging brain. PMID:22256150

  19. The increase of the functional entropy of the human brain with age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Y; Lu, W L; Xu, B; Li, C B; Lin, C P; Waxman, D; Feng, J F

    2013-10-09

    We use entropy to characterize intrinsic ageing properties of the human brain. Analysis of fMRI data from a large dataset of individuals, using resting state BOLD signals, demonstrated that a functional entropy associated with brain activity increases with age. During an average lifespan, the entropy, which was calculated from a population of individuals, increased by approximately 0.1 bits, due to correlations in BOLD activity becoming more widely distributed. We attribute this to the number of excitatory neurons and the excitatory conductance decreasing with age. Incorporating these properties into a computational model leads to quantitatively similar results to the fMRI data. Our dataset involved males and females and we found significant differences between them. The entropy of males at birth was lower than that of females. However, the entropies of the two sexes increase at different rates, and intersect at approximately 50 years; after this age, males have a larger entropy.

  20. Effects of stress hormones on the brain and cognition: Evidence from normal to pathological aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Nery de Souza-Talarico

    Full Text Available Abstract Several studies have demonstrated a wide cognitive variability among aged individuals. One factor thought to be associated with this heterogeneity is exposure to chronic stress throughout life. Animal and human evidence demonstrates that glucocorticoids (GCs, the main class of stress hormones, are strongly linked to memory performance whereby elevated GC levels are associated with memory performance decline in both normal and pathological cognitive aging. Accordingly, it is believed that GCs may increase the brain's vulnerability to the effects of internal and external insults, and thus may play a role in the development of age-related cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD. The aim of this review article was to investigate the effects of GCs on normal and pathological cognitive aging by showing how these hormones interact with different brain structures involved in cognitive abilities, subsequently worsen memory performance, and increase the risk for developing dementia.

  1. Effect of high-intensity exercise on aged mouse brain mitochondria, neurogenesis, and inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    E, Lezi; Burns, Jeffrey M; Swerdlow, Russell H

    2014-11-01

    In aged mice, we assessed how intensive exercise affects brain bioenergetics, inflammation, and neurogenesis-relevant parameters. After 8 weeks of a supra-lactate threshold treadmill exercise intervention, 21-month-old C57BL/6 mice showed increased brain peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α protein, mammalian target of rapamycin and phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin protein, citrate synthase messenger RNA, and mitochondrial DNA copy number. Hippocampal vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) gene expression trended higher, and a positive correlation between VEGF-A and PRC messenger RNA levels was observed. Brain doublecortin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tumor necrosis factor-α, and CCL11 gene expression, as well as plasma CCL11 protein levels, were unchanged. Despite these apparent negative findings, a negative correlation between plasma CCL11 protein levels and hippocampal doublecortin gene expression was observed; further analysis indicated exercise may mitigate this relationship. Overall, our data suggest supra-lactate threshold exercise activates a partial mitochondrial biogenesis in aged mice, and a gene (VEGF-A) known to support neurogenesis. Our data are consistent with another study that found systemic inflammation in general, and CCL11 protein specifically, suppresses hippocampal neurogenesis. Our study supports the view that intense exercise above the lactate threshold may benefit the aging brain; future studies to address the extent to which exercise-generated lactate mediates the observed effects are warranted.

  2. The effects of age, sex, and hormones on emotional conflict-related brain response during adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cservenka, Anita; Stroup, Madison L; Etkin, Amit; Nagel, Bonnie J

    2015-10-01

    While cognitive and emotional systems both undergo development during adolescence, few studies have explored top-down inhibitory control brain activity in the context of affective processing, critical to informing adolescent psychopathology. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine brain response during an Emotional Conflict (EmC) Task across 10-15-year-old youth. During the EmC Task, participants indicated the emotion of facial expressions, while disregarding emotion-congruent and incongruent words printed across the faces. We examined the relationships of age, sex, and gonadal hormones with brain activity on Incongruent vs. Congruent trials. Age was negatively associated with middle frontal gyrus activity, controlling for performance and movement confounds. Sex differences were present in occipital and parietal cortices, and were driven by activation in females, and deactivation in males to Congruent trials. Testosterone was negatively related with frontal and striatal brain response in males, and cerebellar and precuneus response in females. Estradiol was negatively related with fronto-cerebellar, cingulate, and precuneus brain activity in males, and positively related with occipital response in females. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the effects of age, sex, and sex steroids during an emotion-cognition task in adolescents. Further research is needed to examine longitudinal development of emotion-cognition interactions and deviations in psychiatric disorders in adolescence.

  3. Shorter term aerobic exercise improves brain, cognition, and cardiovascular fitness in aging

    OpenAIRE

    Sandra B Chapman; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S.; DeFina, Laura F.; Keebler, Molly W.; Didehbani, Nyaz; Lu, Hanzhang

    2013-01-01

    Physical exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, is documented as providing a low cost regimen to counter well-documented cognitive declines including memory, executive function, visuospatial skills, and processing speed in normally aging adults. Prior aging studies focused largely on the effects of medium to long term (>6 months) exercise training; however, the shorter term effects have not been studied. In the present study, we examined changes in brain blood flow, cognition, and fitness i...

  4. Nutrition and brain aging: role of fatty acids with an epidemiological perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Samieri Cécilia; Barberger-Gateau Pascale

    2011-01-01

    In the absence of identified etiologic treatment for dementia, the potential preventive role of nutrition may offer an interesting perspective. The objective of the thesis of C. Samieri was to study the association between nutrition and brain aging in 1,796 subjects, aged 65 y or older, from the Bordeaux sample of the Three-City study, with a particular emphasis on fatty acids. Considering the multidimensional nature of nutritional data, several complementary strategies were used. At the glob...

  5. Brain development, intelligence and cognitive outcome in children born small for gestational age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bie, H M A; Oostrom, K J; Delemarre-van de Waal, H A

    2010-01-01

    Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can lead to infants being born small for gestational age (SGA). SGA is associated with increased neonatal morbidity and mortality as well as short stature, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus type 2, dyslipidemia and end-stage renal disease in adulthood. In addition, SGA children have decreased levels of intelligence and cognition, although the effects are mostly subtle. The overall outcome of each child is the result of a complex interaction between intrauterine and extrauterine factors. Animal and human studies show structural alterations in the brains of individuals with IUGR/SGA. The presence of growth hormone (GH) receptors in the brain implies that the brain is also a target for GH. Exogenous GH theoretically has the ability to act on the brain. This is exemplified by the effects of GH on cognition in GH-deficient adults. In SGA children, data on the effect of exogenous GH on intelligence and cognition are scant and contradictory.

  6. Neuroinflammation in the Aging Down Syndrome Brain; Lessons from Alzheimer's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna M. Wilcock

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Down syndrome (DS is the most genetic cause of mental retardation and is caused by the triplication of chromosome 21. In addition to the disabilities caused early in life, DS is also noted as causing Alzheimer's-disease-like pathological changes in the brain, leading to 50–70% of DS patients showing dementia by 60–70 years of age. Inflammation is a complex process that has a key role to play in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. There is relatively little understood about inflammation in the DS brain and how the genetics of DS may alter this inflammatory response and change the course of disease in the DS brain. The goal of this review is to highlight our current understanding of inflammation in Alzheimer's disease and predict how inflammation may affect the pathology of the DS brain based on this information and the known genetic changes that occur due to triplication of chromosome 21.

  7. Hormone replacement therapy and age-related brain shrinkage: regional effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raz, Naftali; Rodrigue, Karen M; Kennedy, Kristen M; Acker, James D

    2004-11-15

    Neuroprotective properties of estrogen have been established in animal models, but clinical trials of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) produced contradictory results. We examined the impact of HRT on age-related regional changes in human brain volume. Six brain regions were measured twice, five years apart, in 12 healthy women who took HRT and in matched controls who did not. The controls showed a typical pattern of differential brain shrinkage in the association cortices and the hippocampus with no change in the primary visual cortex. In contrast, women who took HRT showed comparable shrinkage of the hippocampus but no significant shrinkage of the neocortex. Future large scale studies may benefit from applying regional rather than global measures in assessment of brain integrity.

  8. Neuroinflammation in the aging down syndrome brain; lessons from Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcock, Donna M

    2012-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is the most genetic cause of mental retardation and is caused by the triplication of chromosome 21. In addition to the disabilities caused early in life, DS is also noted as causing Alzheimer's-disease-like pathological changes in the brain, leading to 50-70% of DS patients showing dementia by 60-70 years of age. Inflammation is a complex process that has a key role to play in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. There is relatively little understood about inflammation in the DS brain and how the genetics of DS may alter this inflammatory response and change the course of disease in the DS brain. The goal of this review is to highlight our current understanding of inflammation in Alzheimer's disease and predict how inflammation may affect the pathology of the DS brain based on this information and the known genetic changes that occur due to triplication of chromosome 21.

  9. Effects of Age and Age-Related Hearing Loss on the Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblay, Kelly; Ross, Bernhard

    2007-01-01

    It is well documented that aging adversely affects the ability to perceive time-varying acoustic cues. Here we review how physiological measures are being used to explore the effects of aging (and concomitant hearing loss) on the neural representation of temporal cues. Also addressed are the implications of current research findings on the…

  10. The brain map of gait variability in aging, cognitive impairment and dementia-A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Qu; Chastan, Nathalie; Bair, Woei-Nan; Resnick, Susan M; Ferrucci, Luigi; Studenski, Stephanie A

    2017-03-01

    While gait variability may reflect subtle changes due to aging or cognitive impairment (CI), associated brain characteristics remain unclear. We summarize structural and functional neuroimaging findings associated with gait variability in older adults with and without CI and dementia. We identified 17 eligible studies; all were cross-sectional; few examined multiple brain areas. In older adults, temporal gait variability was associated with structural differences in medial areas important for lower limb coordination and balance. Both temporal and spatial gait variability were associated with structural and functional differences in hippocampus and primary sensorimotor cortex and structural differences in anterior cingulate cortex, basal ganglia, association tracts, and posterior thalamic radiation. In CI or dementia, some associations were found in primary motor cortex, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia. In older adults, gait variability may be associated with areas important for sensorimotor integration and coordination. To comprehend the neural basis of gait variability with aging and CI, longitudinal studies of multiple brain areas are needed.

  11. Caloric restriction increases ketone bodies metabolism and preserves blood flow in aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ai-Ling; Zhang, Wei; Gao, Xiaoli; Watts, Lora

    2015-07-01

    Caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to increase the life span and health span of a broad range of species. However, CR effects on in vivo brain functions are far from explored. In this study, we used multimetric neuroimaging methods to characterize the CR-induced changes of brain metabolic and vascular functions in aging rats. We found that old rats (24 months of age) with CR diet had reduced glucose uptake and lactate concentration, but increased ketone bodies level, compared with the age-matched and young (5 months of age) controls. The shifted metabolism was associated with preserved vascular function: old CR rats also had maintained cerebral blood flow relative to the age-matched controls. When investigating the metabolites in mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle, we found that citrate and α-ketoglutarate were preserved in the old CR rats. We suggest that CR is neuroprotective; ketone bodies, cerebral blood flow, and α-ketoglutarate may play important roles in preserving brain physiology in aging.

  12. Neurogenetic effects on cognition in aging brains: A window of opportunity for intervention?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivar Reinvang

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of genetic influences on cognitive aging can constrain and guide interventions aimed at limiting age-related cognitive decline in older adults. Progress in understanding the neural basis of cognitive aging also requires a better understanding of the neurogenetics of cognition. This selective review article describes studies aimed at deriving specific neurogenetic information from three parallel and interrelated phenotype based approaches: psychometric constructs, cognitive neuroscience based processing measures, and brain imaging morphometric data. Developments in newer genetic analysis tools, including genome wide association, are also described. In particular, we focus on models for establishing genotype-phenotype associations within an explanatory framework linking molecular, brain, and cognitive levels of analysis. Such multiple-phenotype approaches indicate that individual variation in genes central to maintaining synaptic integrity, neurotransmitter function, and synaptic plasticity are important in affecting age-related changes in brain structure and cognition. Investigating phenotypes at multiple levels is recommended as a means to advance understanding of the neural impact of genetic variants relevant to cognitive aging. Further knowledge regarding the mechanisms of interaction between genetic and preventative procedures will in turn help in understanding the ameliorative effect of various experiential and lifestyle factors on age-related cognitive decline.

  13. The impact of age on oncogenic potential: tumor-initiating cells and the brain microenvironment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, Elizabeth A; Horner, Philip J; Rostomily, Robert C

    2013-10-01

    Paradoxically, aging leads to both decreased regenerative capacity in the brain and an increased risk of tumorigenesis, particularly the most common adult-onset brain tumor, glioma. A shared factor contributing to both phenomena is thought to be age-related alterations in neural progenitor cells (NPCs), which function normally to produce new neurons and glia, but are also considered likely cells of origin for malignant glioma. Upon oncogenic transformation, cells acquire characteristics known as the hallmarks of cancer, including unlimited replication, altered responses to growth and anti-growth factors, increased capacity for angiogenesis, potential for invasion, genetic instability, apoptotic evasion, escape from immune surveillance, and an adaptive metabolic phenotype. The precise molecular pathogenesis and temporal acquisition of these malignant characteristics is largely a mystery. Recent studies characterizing NPCs during normal aging, however, have begun to elucidate mechanisms underlying the age-associated increase in their malignant potential. Aging cells are dependent upon multiple compensatory pathways to maintain cell cycle control, normal niche interactions, genetic stability, programmed cell death, and oxidative metabolism. A few multi-functional proteins act as 'critical nodes' in the coordination of these various cellular activities, although both intracellular signaling and elements within the brain environment are critical to maintaining a balance between senescence and tumorigenesis. Here, we provide an overview of recent progress in our understanding of how mechanisms underlying cellular aging inform on glioma pathogenesis and malignancy.

  14. Age-associated physiological and pathological changes at the blood-brain barrier: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erdő, Franciska; Denes, László; de Lange, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    The age-associated decline of the neurological and cognitive functions becomes more and more serious challenge for the developed countries with the increasing number of aged populations. The morphological and biochemical changes in the aging brain are the subjects of many extended research projects worldwide for a long time. However, the crucial role of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) impairment and disruption in the pathological processes in age-associated neurodegenerative disorders received special attention just for a few years. This article gives an overview on the major elements of the blood-brain barrier and its supporting mechanisms and also on their alterations during development, physiological aging process and age-associated neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, pharmacoresistant epilepsy). Besides the morphological alterations of the cellular elements (endothelial cells, astrocytes, pericytes, microglia, neuronal elements) of the BBB and neurovascular unit, the changes of the barrier at molecular level (tight junction proteins, adheres junction proteins, membrane transporters, basal lamina, extracellular matrix) are also summarized. The recognition of new players and initiators of the process of neurodegeneration at the level of the BBB may offer new avenues for novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of numerous chronic neurodegenerative disorders currently without effective medication.

  15. New neurons in aging brains: molecular control by small non-coding RNAs.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Schouten; M.R. Buijink; P.J. Lucassen; C.P. Fitzsimons

    2012-01-01

    Adult neurogenesis generates functional neurons from neural stem cells present in specific brain regions. It is largely confined to two main regions: the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle, and the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus (DG), in the hippocampus. With age, the function of th

  16. Aging brain from a network science perspective: something to be positive about?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle W Voss

    Full Text Available To better understand age differences in brain function and behavior, the current study applied network science to model functional interactions between brain regions. We observed a shift in network topology whereby for older adults subcortical and cerebellar structures overlapping with the Salience network had more connectivity to the rest of the brain, coupled with fragmentation of large-scale cortical networks such as the Default and Fronto-Parietal networks. Additionally, greater integration of the dorsal medial thalamus and red nucleus in the Salience network was associated with greater satisfaction with life for older adults, which is consistent with theoretical predictions of age-related increases in emotion regulation that are thought to help maintain well-being and life satisfaction in late adulthood. In regard to cognitive abilities, greater ventral medial prefrontal cortex coherence with its topological neighbors in the Default Network was associated with faster processing speed. Results suggest that large-scale organizing properties of the brain differ with normal aging, and this perspective may offer novel insight into understanding age-related differences in cognitive function and well-being.

  17. Exercise and the Aging Brain. (The 1982 C. H. McCloy Research Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spirduso, Waneen W.

    1983-01-01

    Exercise may postpone the deterioration in response speed that generally appears in the motor system of the aging by maintaining the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system in the brain. Exercise may also ameliorate symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Results of laboratory studies involving animals and rats are reported. (Author/PP)

  18. An in vivo study on brain microstructure in biological and chronological ageing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Altmann-Schneider, Irmhild; de Craen, Anton J M; van den Berg-Huysmans, Annette A;

    2015-01-01

    phenotype of familial longevity. Moreover, we aimed to describe cerebral ageing effects on MTI parameters in an elderly cohort. All subjects were included from the Leiden Longevity Study and underwent 3 Tesla MTI of the brain. In total, 183 offspring of nonagenarian siblings, who are enriched for familial...

  19. Keep Your Brain Fit! A Psychoeducational Training Program for Healthy Cognitive Aging: A Feasibility Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reijnders, Jennifer; van Heugten, Caroline; van Boxtel, Martin

    2015-01-01

    A psychoeducational face-to-face training program (Keep Your Brain Fit!) was developed to support the working population in coping with age-related cognitive changes and taking proactive preventive measures to maintain cognitive health. A feasibility study was conducted to test the training program presented in a workshop format. Participants…

  20. Age-related changes in brain support cells: Implications for stroke severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohrabji, Farida; Bake, Shameena; Lewis, Danielle K

    2013-10-01

    Stroke is one of the leading causes of adult disability and the fourth leading cause of mortality in the US. Stroke disproportionately occurs among the elderly, where the disease is more likely to be fatal or lead to long-term supportive care. Animal models, where the ischemic insult can be controlled more precisely, also confirm that aged animals sustain more severe strokes as compared to young animals. Furthermore, the neuroprotection usually seen in younger females when compared to young males is not observed in older females. The preclinical literature thus provides a valuable resource for understanding why the aging brain is more susceptible to severe infarction. In this review, we discuss the hypothesis that stroke severity in the aging brain may be associated with reduced functional capacity of critical support cells. Specifically, we focus on astrocytes, that are critical for detoxification of the brain microenvironment and endothelial cells, which play a crucial role in maintaining the blood brain barrier. In view of the sex difference in stroke severity, this review also discusses studies of middle-aged acyclic females as well as the effects of the estrogen on astrocytes and endothelial cells.

  1. Divided attention and driving. The effects of aging and brain injury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withaar, Frederiec Kunna

    2000-01-01

    In this thesis, divided attention was investigated in four groups of subjects: closed head injury (CHI) patients, young control and healthy older subjects, and older subjects with cognitive impairments. It was studied how diffuse brain injury and normal and abnormal aging affect cognitive processes

  2. Calcium antagonists decrease capillary wall damage in aging hypertensive rat brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farkas, E.; de Jong, G.I.; Apro, E.; Keuker, J.I.H.; Luiten, P.G.M.

    2001-01-01

    Chronic hypertension during aging is a serious threat to the cerebral vasculature. The larger brain arteries can react to hypertension with an abnormal wall thickening, a loss of elasticity and a narrowed lumen. However, little is known about the hypertension-induced alterations of cerebral capillar

  3. Roles of unsaturated fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids) in the brain at various ages and during ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourre, J M

    2004-01-01

    results have shown that dietary alpha-linolenic acid deficiency induces more marked abnormalities in certain cerebral structures than in others, as the frontal cortex and pituitary gland are more severely affected. These selective lesions are accompanied by behavioural disorders more particularly affecting certain tests (habituation, adaptation to new situations). Biochemical and behavioural abnormalities are partially reversed by a dietary phospholipid supplement, especially omega-3-rich egg yolk extracts or pig brain. A dose-effect study showed that animal phospholipids are more effective than plant phospholipids to reverse the consequences of alpha-linolenic acid deficiency, partly because they provide very long preformed chains. Alpha-linolenic acid deficiency decreases the perception of pleasure, by slightly altering the efficacy of sensory organs and by affecting certain cerebral structures. Age-related impairment of hearing, vision and smell is due to both decreased efficacy of the parts of the brain concerned and disorders of sensory receptors, particularly of the inner ear or retina. For example, a given level of perception of a sweet taste requires a larger quantity of sugar in subjects with alpha-linolenic acid deficiency. In view of occidental eating habits, as omega-6 fatty acid deficiency has never been observed, its impact on the brain has not been studied. In contrast, omega-9 fatty acid deficiency, specifically oleic acid deficiency, induces a reduction of this fatty acid in many tissues, except the brain (but the sciatic nerve is affected). This fatty acid is therefore not synthesized in sufficient quantities, at least during pregnancy-lactation, implying a need for dietary intake. It must be remembered that organization of the neurons is almost complete several weeks before birth, and that these neurons remain for the subject's life time. Consequently, any disturbance of these neurons, an alteration of their connections, and impaired turnover of their

  4. Ligustilide prevents cognitive impairment and attenuates neurotoxicity in D-galactose induced aging mice brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jie-Jia; Zhu, Qing; Lu, Ya-Peng; Zhao, Peng; Feng, Zhan-Bo; Qian, Zhong-Ming; Zhu, Li

    2015-01-21

    Ligustilide (LIG) is a principal active ingredient of traditional Chinese medicine, Radix Angelica sinensis, which has versatile pharmacological activities including neuroprotection. Previous studies have demonstrated that LIG has beneficial effects on cognition deficits associated with cerebral damage or neurodegenerative disorders. In present study, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of LIG on cognitive impairment and neurotoxicity in the brain of aging mouse induced by d-galactose (d-gal). The aging model mice were induced by subcutaneous (S.C.) injection of d-gal once daily for 8 weeks and LIG (80 mg/kg) was simultaneously administered orally. The Morris water maze (MWM) test was used to assess the spatial learning and memory abilities. The activity of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase and the content of lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA) in brain were examined. The levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), growth-associated protein GAP-43, and cleaved caspase-3 in brain were also determined by immunohistochemistry. The MWM test showed that LIG administration markedly improved behavioral performance of d-gal treated mice. This action could be partly explained by the results that LIG reduced the level of MDA as well as increased the activity of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase in the brain of d-gal induced aging mice. Moreover, LIG significantly raised the expression of GAP-43 and reduced cleaved caspase-3 and GFAP levels in the brain of d-gal treated mice. These results demonstrated that LIG improves d-gal-induced cognitive dysfunction and brain toxicity, which suggests that LIG may be developed as a new medicine for the treatment of aged-related conditions.

  5. Discovering novel microRNAs and age-related nonlinear changes in rat brains using deep sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Lanxuan; Sun, Yubai; Wu, Jinfeng; Yan, Siyu; Deng, Zhenglu; Wang, Jun; Liao, Shenke; Yin, Dazhong; Li, Guolin

    2015-02-01

    Elucidating the molecular mechanisms of brain aging remains a significant challenge for biogerontologists. The discovery of gene regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs) has added a new dimension for examining this process; however, the full complement of miRNAs involved in brain aging is still not known. In this study, miRNA profiles of young, adult, and old rats were obtained to evaluate molecular changes during aging. High-throughput deep sequencing revealed 547 known and 171 candidate novel miRNAs that were differentially expressed among groups. Unexpectedly, miRNA expression did not decline progressively with advancing age; moreover, genes targeted by age-associated miRNAs were predicted to be involved in biological processes linked to aging and neurodegenerative diseases. These findings provide novel insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying brain aging and a resource for future studies on age-related brain disorders.

  6. Aging-induced changes in brain regional serotonin receptor binding: Effect of Carnosine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, S; Poddar, M K

    2016-04-05

    Monoamine neurotransmitter, serotonin (5-HT) has its own specific receptors in both pre- and post-synapse. In the present study the role of carnosine on aging-induced changes of [(3)H]-5-HT receptor binding in different brain regions in a rat model was studied. The results showed that during aging (18 and 24 months) the [(3)H]-5-HT receptor binding was reduced in hippocampus, hypothalamus and pons-medulla with a decrease in their both Bmax and KD but in cerebral cortex the [(3)H]-5-HT binding was increased with the increase of its only Bmax. The aging-induced changes in [(3)H]-5-HT receptor binding with carnosine (2.0 μg/kg/day, intrathecally, for 21 consecutive days) attenuated in (a) 24-month-aged rats irrespective of the brain regions with the attenuation of its Bmax except hypothalamus where both Bmax and KD were significantly attenuated, (b) hippocampus and hypothalamus of 18-month-aged rats with the attenuation of its Bmax, and restored toward the [(3)H]-5-HT receptor binding that observed in 4-month-young rats. The decrease in pons-medullary [(3)H]-5-HT binding including its Bmax of 18-month-aged rats was promoted with carnosine without any significant change in its cerebral cortex. The [(3)H]-5-HT receptor binding with the same dosages of carnosine in 4-month-young rats (a) increased in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus with the increase in their only Bmax whereas (b) decreased in hypothalamus and pons-medulla with a decrease in their both Bmax and KD. These results suggest that carnosine treatment may (a) play a preventive role in aging-induced brain region-specific changes in serotonergic activity (b) not be worthy in 4-month-young rats in relation to the brain regional serotonergic activity.

  7. Associations between insulin action and integrity of brain microstructure differ with familial longevity and with age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abimbola A. Akintola

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Impaired glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes have been associated with cognitive decline, dementia, and with structural and functional brain features. However, it is unclear whether these associations differ in individuals that differ in familial longevity or age. Here, we investigated the association between parameters of glucose metabolism and microstructural brain integrity in offspring of long-lived families (offspring and controls; and age categories thereof. From the Leiden Longevity Study, 132 participants underwent oral glucose tolerance test to assess glycemia (fasted glucose and glucose area-under-the-curve (AUC, insulin resistance (fasted insulin, AUCinsulin, and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR, and pancreatic Beta cell secretory capacity (insulinogenic index. 3Tesla MRI and Magnetization Transfer (MT imaging MT-ratio peak-height was used to quantify differences in microstructural brain parenchymal tissue homogeneity that remain invisible on conventional MRI. Analyses were performed in offspring and age-matched controls, with and without stratification for age.In the full offspring group only, reduced peak-height in grey and white matter was inversely associated with AUCinsulin, fasted insulin, HOMA-IR and insulinogenic-index (all p65 years: in younger controls, significantly stronger inverse associations were observed between peak-height and fasted glucose, AUCglucose, fasted insulin, AUCinsulin and HOMA-IR in grey matter; and for AUCglucose, fasted insulin and HOMA-IR in white matter (all P-interaction<0.05. Although the strength of the associations tended to attenuate with age in the offspring group, the difference between age groups was not statistically significant. Thus, associations between impaired insulin action and reduced microstructural brain parenchymal tissue homogeneity were stronger in offspring compared to controls, and seemed to diminish with age.

  8. Brain network characterization of high-risk preterm-born school-age children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischi-Gomez, Elda; Muñoz-Moreno, Emma; Vasung, Lana; Griffa, Alessandra; Borradori-Tolsa, Cristina; Monnier, Maryline; Lazeyras, François; Thiran, Jean-Philippe; Hüppi, Petra S

    2016-01-01

    Higher risk for long-term cognitive and behavioral impairments is one of the hallmarks of extreme prematurity (EP) and pregnancy-associated fetal adverse conditions such as intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). While neurodevelopmental delay and abnormal brain function occur in the absence of overt brain lesions, these conditions have been recently associated with changes in microstructural brain development. Recent imaging studies indicate changes in brain connectivity, in particular involving the white matter fibers belonging to the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic loop. Furthermore, EP and IUGR have been related to altered brain network architecture in childhood, with reduced network global capacity, global efficiency and average nodal strength. In this study, we used a connectome analysis to characterize the structural brain networks of these children, with a special focus on their topological organization. On one hand, we confirm the reduced averaged network node degree and strength due to EP and IUGR. On the other, the decomposition of the brain networks in an optimal set of clusters remained substantially different among groups, talking in favor of a different network community structure. However, and despite the different community structure, the brain networks of these high-risk school-age children maintained the typical small-world, rich-club and modularity characteristics in all cases. Thus, our results suggest that brain reorganizes after EP and IUGR, prioritizing a tight modular structure, to maintain the small-world, rich-club and modularity characteristics. By themselves, both extreme prematurity and IUGR bear a similar risk for neurocognitive and behavioral impairment, and the here defined modular network alterations confirm similar structural changes both by IUGR and EP at school age compared to control. Interestingly, the combination of both conditions (IUGR + EP) does not result in a worse outcome. In such cases, the alteration in network

  9. Brain network characterization of high-risk preterm-born school-age children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elda Fischi-Gomez

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Higher risk for long-term cognitive and behavioral impairments is one of the hallmarks of extreme prematurity (EP and pregnancy-associated fetal adverse conditions such as intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR. While neurodevelopmental delay and abnormal brain function occur in the absence of overt brain lesions, these conditions have been recently associated with changes in microstructural brain development. Recent imaging studies indicate changes in brain connectivity, in particular involving the white matter fibers belonging to the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic loop. Furthermore, EP and IUGR have been related to altered brain network architecture in childhood, with reduced network global capacity, global efficiency and average nodal strength. In this study, we used a connectome analysis to characterize the structural brain networks of these children, with a special focus on their topological organization. On one hand, we confirm the reduced averaged network node degree and strength due to EP and IUGR. On the other, the decomposition of the brain networks in an optimal set of clusters remained substantially different among groups, talking in favor of a different network community structure. However, and despite the different community structure, the brain networks of these high-risk school-age children maintained the typical small-world, rich-club and modularity characteristics in all cases. Thus, our results suggest that brain reorganizes after EP and IUGR, prioritizing a tight modular structure, to maintain the small-world, rich-club and modularity characteristics. By themselves, both extreme prematurity and IUGR bear a similar risk for neurocognitive and behavioral impairment, and the here defined modular network alterations confirm similar structural changes both by IUGR and EP at school age compared to control. Interestingly, the combination of both conditions (IUGR + EP does not result in a worse outcome. In such cases, the alteration

  10. Peripheral injection of human umbilical cord blood stimulates neurogenesis in the aged rat brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachstetter, Adam D; Pabon, Mibel M; Cole, Michael J; Hudson, Charles E; Sanberg, Paul R; Willing, Alison E; Bickford, Paula C; Gemma, Carmelina

    2008-01-01

    Background Neurogenesis continues to occur throughout life but dramatically decreases with increasing age. This decrease is mostly related to a decline in proliferative activity as a result of an impoverishment of the microenvironment of the aged brain, including a reduction in trophic factors and increased inflammation. Results We determined that human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (UCBMC) given peripherally, by an intravenous injection, could rejuvenate the proliferative activity of the aged neural stem/progenitor cells. This increase in proliferation lasted for at least 15 days after the delivery of the UCBMC. Along with the increase in proliferation following UCBMC treatment, an increase in neurogenesis was also found in the aged animals. The increase in neurogenesis as a result of UCBMC treatment seemed to be due to a decrease in inflammation, as a decrease in the number of activated microglia was found and this decrease correlated with the increase in neurogenesis. Conclusion The results demonstrate that a single intravenous injection of UCBMC in aged rats can significantly improve the microenvironment of the aged hippocampus and rejuvenate the aged neural stem/progenitor cells. Our results raise the possibility of a peripherally administered cell therapy as an effective approach to improve the microenvironment of the aged brain. PMID:18275610

  11. Peripheral injection of human umbilical cord blood stimulates neurogenesis in the aged rat brain

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    Sanberg Paul R

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurogenesis continues to occur throughout life but dramatically decreases with increasing age. This decrease is mostly related to a decline in proliferative activity as a result of an impoverishment of the microenvironment of the aged brain, including a reduction in trophic factors and increased inflammation. Results We determined that human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (UCBMC given peripherally, by an intravenous injection, could rejuvenate the proliferative activity of the aged neural stem/progenitor cells. This increase in proliferation lasted for at least 15 days after the delivery of the UCBMC. Along with the increase in proliferation following UCBMC treatment, an increase in neurogenesis was also found in the aged animals. The increase in neurogenesis as a result of UCBMC treatment seemed to be due to a decrease in inflammation, as a decrease in the number of activated microglia was found and this decrease correlated with the increase in neurogenesis. Conclusion The results demonstrate that a single intravenous injection of UCBMC in aged rats can significantly improve the microenvironment of the aged hippocampus and rejuvenate the aged neural stem/progenitor cells. Our results raise the possibility of a peripherally administered cell therapy as an effective approach to improve the microenvironment of the aged brain.

  12. Local amplification of glucocorticoids in the ageing brain and impaired spatial memory

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    Joyce L.W. Yau

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus is a prime target for glucocorticoids (GCs and a brain structure particularly vulnerable to ageing. Prolonged exposure to excess GCs compromises hippocampal electrophysiology, structure and function. Blood GC levels tend to increase with ageing and correlate with impaired spatial memory in ageing rodents and humans. The magnitude of GC action within tissues depends not only on levels of steroid hormone that enter the cells from the periphery and the density of intracellular receptors but also on the local metabolism of GCs by 11ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (11ß-HSD. The predominant isozyme in the adult brain, 11ß-HSD1, locally regenerates active GCs from inert 11-keto forms thus amplifying GC levels within specific target cells including in the hippocampus and cortex. Ageing associates with elevated hippocampal and neocortical 11ß-HSD1 and impaired spatial learning while deficiency of 11ß-HSD1 in knockout mice prevents the emergence of cognitive decline with age. Furthermore, short-term pharmacological inhibition of 11ß-HSD1 in already aged mice reverses spatial memory impairments. Here, we review research findings that support a key role for GCs with special emphasis on their intracellular regulation by 11ß-HSD1 in the emergence of spatial memory deficits with ageing, and discuss the use of 11ß-HSD1 inhibitors as a promising novel treatment in ameliorating/improving age-related memory impairments.

  13. Neuroculture, active ageing and the 'older brain': problems, promises and prospects.

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    Williams, Simon J; Higgs, Paul; Katz, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    This article explores the characteristics of a newly emergent 'neuroculture' and its relationship to cultures of ageing; in particular, the social meanings associated with 'active ageing' and 'cognitive health' and the discourses and sciences around memory and the 'ageing brain'. The argument proposes a critical perspective on this relationship by looking at the shifting boundaries between standards of normality and abnormality, values of health and illness, practices of therapy and enhancement, and the lines demarcating Third Age (healthy, active and agentic) and Fourth Age (dependency, loss and decline) periods of ageing. Conclusions offer further reflections on the complex questions that arise regarding expectations, hopes and ethics in relation to the promises and perils of a neurocultural future.

  14. Cognitive function and brain structure after recurrent mild traumatic brain injuries in young-to-middle-aged adults

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    List, Jonathan; Ott, Stefanie; Bukowski, Martin; Lindenberg, Robert; Flöel, Agnes

    2015-01-01

    Recurrent mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) are regarded as an independent risk factor for developing dementia in later life. We here aimed to evaluate associations between recurrent mTBIs, cognition, and gray matter volume and microstructure as revealed by structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the chronic phase after mTBIs in young adulthood. We enrolled 20 young-to-middle-aged subjects, who reported two or more sports-related mTBIs, with the last mTBI > 6 months prior to study enrolment (mTBI group), and 21 age-, sex- and education matched controls with no history of mTBI (control group). All participants received comprehensive neuropsychological testing, and high resolution T1-weighted and diffusion tensor MRI in order to assess cortical thickness (CT) and microstructure, hippocampal volume, and ventricle size. Compared to the control group, subjects of the mTBI group presented with lower CT within the right temporal lobe and left insula using an a priori region of interest approach. Higher number of mTBIs was associated with lower CT in bilateral insula, right middle temporal gyrus and right entorhinal area. Our results suggest persistent detrimental effects of recurrent mTBIs on CT already in young-to-middle-aged adults. If additional structural deterioration occurs during aging, subtle neuropsychological decline may progress to clinically overt dementia earlier than in age-matched controls, a hypothesis to be assessed in future prospective trials. PMID:26052275

  15. Cognitive function and brain structure after recurrent mild traumatic brain injuries in young-to-middle-aged adults

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    Jonathan eList

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Recurrent mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs are regarded as an independent risk factor for developing dementia in later life. We here aimed to evaluate associations between recurrent mTBIs, cognition, and grey matter volume and microstructure as revealed by structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI in the chronic phase after mTBIs in young adulthood. We enrolled 20 young-to-middle-aged subjects, who reported two or more sports-related mTBIs, with the last mTBI>6 months prior to study enrolment (mTBI group, and 21 age-, sex- and education matched controls with no history of mTBI (control group. All participants received comprehensive neuropsychological testing, and high resolution T1-weighted and diffusion tensor MRI in order to assess cortical thickness (CT and microstructure, hippocampal volume, and ventricle size. Compared to the control group, subjects of the mTBI group presented with lower CT within the right temporal lobe and left insula using an a priori region of interest approach. Higher number of mTBIs was associated with lower CT in bilateral insula, right middle temporal gyrus and right entorhinal area. Our results suggest persistent detrimental effects of recurrent mTBIs on CT already in young-to-middle-aged adults. If additional structural deterioration occurs during aging, subtle neuropsychological decline may progress to clinically overt dementia earlier than in age-matched controls, a hypothesis to be assessed in future prospective trials.

  16. Classification of normal and pathological aging processes based on brain MRI morphology measures

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    Perez-Gonzalez, J. L.; Yanez-Suarez, O.; Medina-Bañuelos, V.

    2014-03-01

    Reported studies describing normal and abnormal aging based on anatomical MRI analysis do not consider morphological brain changes, but only volumetric measures to distinguish among these processes. This work presents a classification scheme, based both on size and shape features extracted from brain volumes, to determine different aging stages: healthy control (HC) adults, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Three support vector machines were optimized and validated for the pair-wise separation of these three classes, using selected features from a set of 3D discrete compactness measures and normalized volumes of several global and local anatomical structures. Our analysis show classification rates of up to 98.3% between HC and AD; of 85% between HC and MCI and of 93.3% for MCI and AD separation. These results outperform those reported in the literature and demonstrate the viability of the proposed morphological indexes to classify different aging stages.

  17. Structural and functional rejuvenation of the aged brain by an approved anti-asthmatic drug.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marschallinger, Julia; Schäffner, Iris; Klein, Barbara; Gelfert, Renate; Rivera, Francisco J; Illes, Sebastian; Grassner, Lukas; Janssen, Maximilian; Rotheneichner, Peter; Schmuckermair, Claudia; Coras, Roland; Boccazzi, Marta; Chishty, Mansoor; Lagler, Florian B; Renic, Marija; Bauer, Hans-Christian; Singewald, Nicolas; Blümcke, Ingmar; Bogdahn, Ulrich; Couillard-Despres, Sebastien; Lie, D Chichung; Abbracchio, Maria P; Aigner, Ludwig

    2015-10-27

    As human life expectancy has improved rapidly in industrialized societies, age-related cognitive impairment presents an increasing challenge. Targeting histopathological processes that correlate with age-related cognitive declines, such as neuroinflammation, low levels of neurogenesis, disrupted blood-brain barrier and altered neuronal activity, might lead to structural and functional rejuvenation of the aged brain. Here we show that a 6-week treatment of young (4 months) and old (20 months) rats with montelukast, a marketed anti-asthmatic drug antagonizing leukotriene receptors, reduces neuroinflammation, elevates hippocampal neurogenesis and improves learning and memory in old animals. By using gene knockdown and knockout approaches, we demonstrate that the effect is mediated through inhibition of the GPR17 receptor. This work illustrates that inhibition of leukotriene receptor signalling might represent a safe and druggable target to restore cognitive functions in old individuals and paves the way for future clinical translation of leukotriene receptor inhibition for the treatment of dementias.

  18. Distinct Brain and Behavioral Benefits from Cognitive versus Physical Training: A Randomized Trial in Aging Adults

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    Sandra Bond Chapman

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Insidious declines in normal aging are well established. Emerging evidence suggests that non-pharmacological interventions, specifically cognitive and physical training, may counter diminishing age-related cognitive and brain functions. This randomized trial compared effects of two training protocols: cognitive training (CT versus physical training (PT on cognition and brain function in adults 56–75 years. Sedentary participants (N=36 were randomized to either CT or PT group for 3 hours/week over 12 weeks. They were assessed at baseline, mid-training and post-training using neurocognitive, MRI and physiological measures. The CT group improved on executive function whereas PT group’s memory was enhanced. Uniquely deploying cerebral blood flow (CBF and cerebral vascular reactivity (CVR MRI, the CT cohort showed increased CBF within the prefrontal and middle/posterior cingulate cortex without change to CVR compared to PT group. Improvements in complex abstraction were positively associated with increased resting CBF in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Exercisers with higher CBF in hippocampi bilaterally showed better immediate memory. The preliminary evidence indicates that increased cognitive and physical activity improves brain health in distinct ways. Reasoning training enhanced frontal networks shown to be integral to top-down cognitive control and brain resilience. Evidence of increased resting CBF without changes to CVR implicates increased neural health rather than improved vascular response. Exercise did not improve cerebrovascular response, although CBF increased in hippocampi of those with memory gains. Distinct benefits incentivize testing effectiveness of combined protocols to strengthen brain health.

  19. Docosahexaenoic acid homeostasis, brain aging and Alzheimer's disease: Can we reconcile the evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C; Chouinard-Watkins, Raphael; Castellano, Christian A; Barberger-Gateau, Pascale

    2013-01-01

    A crossroads has been reached on research into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). On the one hand, several prospective observational studies now clearly indicate a protective effect of higher fish and DHA intake against risk of AD. On the other hand, once AD is clinically evident, supplementation trials demonstrate essentially no benefit of DHA in AD. Despite apparently low DHA intake in AD, brain DHA levels are frequently the same as in controls, suggesting that low DHA intake results in low plasma DHA but does not necessarily reduce brain DHA in humans. Animal models involving dietary omega-3 fatty acid deficiency to deplete brain DHA may therefore not be appropriate in AD research. Studies in the healthy elderly suggest that DHA homeostasis changes during aging. Tracer methodology now permits estimation of DHA half-life in the human brain and whole body. Apolipoprotein E alleles have an important impact not only on AD but also on DHA homeostasis in humans. We therefore encourage further development of innovative approaches to the study of DHA metabolism and its role in human brain function. A better understanding of DHA metabolism in humans will hopefully help explain how higher habitual DHA intake protects against the risk of deteriorating cognition during aging and may eventually give rise to a breakthrough in the treatment of AD.

  20. Gender and age effects in structural brain asymmetry as measured by MRI texture analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalev, Vassili A; Kruggel, Frithjof; von Cramon, D Yves

    2003-07-01

    Effects of gender and age on structural brain asymmetry were studied by 3D texture analysis in 380 adults. Asymmetry is detected by comparing the complex 3D gray-scale image patterns in the left and right cerebral hemispheres as revealed by anatomical T1-weighted MRI datasets. The Talairach and Tournoux parcellation system was applied to study the asymmetry on five levels: the whole cerebrum, nine coronal sections, 12 axial sections, boxes resulting from both coronal and axial subdivisions, and by a sliding spherical window of 9 mm diameter. The analysis revealed that the brain asymmetry increases in the anterior-posterior direction starting from the central region onward. Male brains were found to be more asymmetric than female. This gender-related effect is noticeable in all brain areas but is most significant in the superior temporal gyrus, Heschl's gyrus, the adjacent white matter regions in the temporal stem and the knee of the optic radiation, the thalamus, and the posterior cingulate. The brain asymmetry increases significantly with age in the inferior frontal gyrus, anterior insula, anterior cingulate, parahippocampal gyrus, retrosplenial cortex, coronal radiata, and knee region of the internal capsule. Asymmetry decreases with age in the optic radiation, precentral gyrus, and angular gyrus. The texture-based method reported here is based on extended multisort cooccurrence matrices that employ intensity, gradient, and anisotropy features in a uniform way. It is sensitive, simple to reproduce, robust, and unbiased in the sense that segmentation of brain compartments and spatial transformations are not necessary. Thus, it should be considered as another tool for digital morphometry in neuroscience.

  1. Low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation is beneficial for enhancing synaptic plasticity in the aging brain

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    Zhan-chi Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the aging brain, cognitive function gradually declines and causes a progressive reduction in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an emerging and novel neurological and psychiatric tool used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (≤1 Hz ameliorates synaptic plasticity and spatial cognitive deficits in learning-impaired mice. However, the mechanisms by which this treatment improves these deficits during normal aging are still unknown. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor signal pathway, synaptic protein markers, and spatial memory behavior in the hippocampus of normal aged mice. The study also investigated the downstream regulator, Fyn kinase, and the downstream effectors, synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 (both synaptic markers, to determine the possible mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation regulates cognitive capacity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1 Hz increased mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, and Fyn in the hippocampus of aged mice. The treatment also upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in the hippocampus of these mice. In conclusion, brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling may play an important role in sustaining and regulating structural synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the hippocampus of aging mice, and Fyn may be critical during this regulation. These responses may change the structural plasticity of the aging hippocampus, thereby improving cognitive function.

  2. Role of DHA in aging-related changes in mouse brain synaptic plasma membrane proteome.

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    Sidhu, Vishaldeep K; Huang, Bill X; Desai, Abhishek; Kevala, Karl; Kim, Hee-Yong

    2016-05-01

    Aging has been related to diminished cognitive function, which could be a result of ineffective synaptic function. We have previously shown that synaptic plasma membrane proteins supporting synaptic integrity and neurotransmission were downregulated in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-deprived brains, suggesting an important role of DHA in synaptic function. In this study, we demonstrate aging-induced synaptic proteome changes and DHA-dependent mitigation of such changes using mass spectrometry-based protein quantitation combined with western blot or messenger RNA analysis. We found significant reduction of 15 synaptic plasma membrane proteins in aging brains including fodrin-α, synaptopodin, postsynaptic density protein 95, synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2B, synaptosomal-associated protein 25, synaptosomal-associated protein-α, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit epsilon-2 precursor, AMPA2, AP2, VGluT1, munc18-1, dynamin-1, vesicle-associated membrane protein 2, rab3A, and EAAT1, most of which are involved in synaptic transmission. Notably, the first 9 proteins were further reduced when brain DHA was depleted by diet, indicating that DHA plays an important role in sustaining these synaptic proteins downregulated during aging. Reduction of 2 of these proteins was reversed by raising the brain DHA level by supplementing aged animals with an omega-3 fatty acid sufficient diet for 2 months. The recognition memory compromised in DHA-depleted animals was also improved. Our results suggest a potential role of DHA in alleviating aging-associated cognitive decline by offsetting the loss of neurotransmission-regulating synaptic proteins involved in synaptic function.

  3. Antiaging Effect of Metformin on Brain in Naturally Aged and Accelerated Senescence Model of Rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Geetika; Singh, Sandeep; Singh, Abhishek Kumar; Rizvi, Syed Ibrahim

    2017-01-09

    Metformin, a biguanide, is a widely used antidiabetic drug, which inhibits gluconeogenesis and is used to treat hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes. Through activation of AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) pathway, metformin also mimics caloric restriction health benefits. Aging causes substantial molecular to morphological changes in brain, the brain cells being more susceptible toward oxidative stress mediated damages due to the presence of high lipid content and higher oxygen consumption. Wistar rats (naturally aged and d-galactose induced rat model) were supplemented with metformin (300 mg/kg b.w. orally) for 6 weeks. The biomarkers of oxidative stress such as antioxidant capacity (ferric reducing antioxidant potential [FRAP]), malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH), protein carbonyl (PCO), reactive oxygen species (ROS), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, and nitric oxide (NO) were measured in brain tissues of control and experimental groups. The results indicate that metformin treatment augmented the levels of FRAP and GSH in naturally aged, and d-gal induced aging model groups compared to the respective controls. In contrast, metformin treated groups exhibited significant reduction in MDA, PCO, ROS, and NO levels and a significant increase in AChE activity in induced aging rats. The administration of d-galactose upregulated the expression of sirtuin-2, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and downregulated the expression of Beclin-1. Metformin supplementation downregulated the d-galactose induced expressions of sirtuin-2, IL-6, and TNF-α expression, whereas upregulated the Beclin-1 expression. Our data confirm that metformin restores the antioxidant status and improves healthy brain aging through the activation of autophagy and reduction in inflammation.

  4. Association of amyloid burden, brain atrophy and memory deficits in aged apolipoprotein ε4 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Junxiang; Turner, Gregory H; Coons, Stephen W; Maalouf, Marwan; Reiman, Eric M; Shi, Jiong

    2014-03-01

    Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (ApoE4) has been associated with increased risk of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) and of conversion from mild cognitive impairment to AD. But the underlying mechanism of ApoE4 affecting brain atrophy and cognition is not fully understood. We investigated the effect of ApoE4 on amyloid beta (Aβ) protein burden and its correlation with the structure change of hippocampus and cortex, cognitive and behavioral changes in ApoE4 transgenic mice. Male ApoE4 transgenic mice and age-matched control mice at age 12 months and 24 months were tested in the Morris Water Maze (MWM). Brain volume changes (including whole brain, hippocampus, cortex, total ventricles and caudate putamen) were assessed by using small animal 7T-MRI. Aβ level was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunoprecipitation/western blot. In MWM, escape latency was longer and time spent in the target quadrant was shorter in aged ApoE4 mice (12- and 24-month-old), suggesting age- and ApoE4-dependent visuospatial deficits. Atrophy on MRI was prominent in the hippocampus (p=0.039) and cortex (p=0.013) of ApoE4 mice (24-month-old) as compared to age-matched control mice. IHC revealed elevated Aβ deposition in the hippocampus. Consistently, both soluble and insoluble Aβ aggregates were increased in aged ApoE4 mice. This increase was correlated inversely with hippocampal atrophy and cognitive deficits. These data give further evidence that ApoE4 plays an important role in brain atrophy and memory impairment by modulating amyloid production and deposition.

  5. Low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation is beneifcial for enhancing synaptic plasticity in the aging brain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhan-chi Zhang; Feng Luan; Chun-yan Xie; Dan-dan Geng; Yan-yong Wang; Jun Ma

    2015-01-01

    In the aging brain, cognitive function gradually declines and causes a progressive reduction in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an emerging and novel neurological and psychiatric tool used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (≤1 Hz) ameliorates synaptic plasticity and spatial cognitive deifcits in learning-im-paired mice. However, the mechanisms by which this treatment improves these deifcits during normal aging are still unknown. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of tran-scranial magnetic stimulation on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor signal pathway, synaptic protein markers, and spatial memory behavior in the hippocampus of normal aged mice. The study also investigated the downstream regulator, Fyn kinase, and the downstream effectors, syn-aptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 (both synaptic markers), to determine the possible mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation regulates cognitive capacity. Transcra-nial magnetic stimulation with low intensity (110%average resting motor threshold intensity, 1 Hz) increased mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, and Fyn in the hippocampus of aged mice. The treatment also upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in the hippo-campus of these mice. In conclusion, brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling may play an important role in sustaining and regulating structural synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the hippocampus of aging mice, and Fyn may be critical during this reg-ulation. These responses may change the structural plasticity of the aging hippocampus, thereby improving cognitive function.

  6. Oxidative stress induces the decline of brain EPO expression in aging rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xu; Chen, Yubao; Shao, Siying; Tang, Qing; Chen, Weihai; Chen, Yi; Xu, Xiaoyu

    2016-10-01

    Brain Erythropoietin (EPO), an important neurotrophic factor and neuroprotective factor, was found to be associated with aging. Studies found EPO expression was significantly decreased in the hippocampus of aging rat compared with that of the youth. But mechanisms of the decline of the brain EPO during aging remain unclear. The present study utilized a d-galactose (d-gal)-induced aging model in which the inducement of aging was mainly oxidative injury, to explore underlying mechanisms for the decline of brain EPO in aging rats. d-gal-induced aging rats (2months) were simulated by subcutaneously injecting with d-gal at doses of 50mg·kg(-1), 150mg·kg(-1) and 250mg·kg(-1) daily for 8weeks while the control group received vehicle only. These groups were all compared with the aging rats (24months) which had received no other treatment. The cognitive impairment was assessed using Morris water maze (MWM) in the prepared models, and the amount of β-galactosidase, the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA) level and the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the hippocampus was examined by assay kits. The levels of EPO, EPOR, p-JAK2 and hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α) in the hippocampus were detected by western blot. Additionally, the correlation coefficient between EPO/EPOR expression and MDA level was analyzed. The MWM test showed that compared to control group, the escape latency was significantly extended and the times of crossing the platform was decreased at the doses of 150mg·kg(-1) and 250mg·kg(-1) (pEPO, EPOR, p-JAK2, and HIF-2αin the brain of d-gal-treated rats were significantly decreased (pEPO (r=-0.701, pEPO in the hippocampus and oxidative stress might be the main reason for the decline of brain EPO in aging rats, involved with the decrease of HIF-2α stability.

  7. Brain Food for Alzheimer-Free Ageing: Focus on Herbal Medicines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hügel, Helmut M

    2015-01-01

    Healthy brain aging and the problems of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are a global concern. Beyond 60 years of age, most, if not everyone, will experience a decline in cognitive skills, memory capacity and changes in brain structure. Longevity eventually leads to an accumulation of amyloid plaques and/or tau tangles, including some vascular dementia damage. Therefore, lifestyle choices are paramount to leading either a brain-derived or a brain-deprived life. The focus of this review is to critically examine the evidence, impact, influence and mechanisms of natural products as chemopreventive agents which induce therapeutic outcomes that modulate the aggregation process of beta-amyloid (Aβ), providing measureable cognitive benefits in the aging process. Plants can be considered as chemical factories that manufacture huge numbers of diverse bioactive substances, many of which have the potential to provide substantial neuroprotective benefits. Medicinal herbs and health food supplements have been widely used in Asia since over 2,000 years. The phytochemicals utilized in traditional Chinese medicine have demonstrated safety profiles for human consumption. Many herbs with anti-amyloidogenic activity, including those containing polyphenolic constituents such as green tea, turmeric, Salvia miltiorrhiza, and Panax ginseng, are presented. Also covered in this review are extracts from kitchen spices including cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, sage, salvia herbs, Chinese celery and many others some of which are commonly used in herbal combinations and represent highly promising therapeutic natural compounds against AD. A number of clinical trials conducted on herbs to counter dementia and AD are discussed.

  8. Brain Volume Reductions within Multiple Cognitive Systems in Male Preterm Children at Age Twelve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kesler, Shelli R.; Reiss, Allan L.; Vohr, Betty; Watson, Christa; Schneider, Karen C.; Katz, Karol H.; Maller-Kesselman, Jill; Silbereis, John; Constable, R. Todd; Makuch, Robert W.; Ment, Laura R.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives To more precisely examine regional and subregional microstructural brain changes associated with preterm birth. Study design We obtained brain volumes from 29 preterm children, age 12 years, with no ultrasound scanning evidence of intraventricular hemorrhage or cystic periventricular leukomalacia in the newborn period, and 22 age- and sex-matched term control subjects. Results Preterm male subjects demonstrated significantly lower white matter volumes in bilateral cingulum, corpus callosum, corticospinal tract, prefrontal cortex, superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi compared with term male subjects. Gray matter volumes in prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia, and temporal lobe also were significantly reduced in preterm male subjects. Brain volumes of preterm female subjects were not significantly different from those of term female control subjects. Voxel-based morphometry results were not correlated with perinatal variables or cognitive outcome. Higher maternal education was associated with higher cognitive performance in preterm male subjects. Conclusions Preterm male children continue to demonstrate abnormal neurodevelopment at 12 years of age. However, brain morphology in preterm female children may no longer differ from that of term female children. The neurodevelopmental abnormalities we detected in preterm male subjects appear to be relatively diffuse, involving multiple neural systems. The relationship between aberrant neurodevelopment and perinatal variables may be mediated by genetic factors, environmental factors, or both reflected in maternal education level. PMID:18346506

  9. FTO genotype and aging: pleiotropic longitudinal effects on adiposity, brain function, impulsivity and diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Y-F; Tanaka, T; Beason-Held, L L; An, Y; Terracciano, A; Sutin, A R; Kraut, M; Singleton, A B; Resnick, S M; Thambisetty, M

    2015-02-01

    Although overweight and obesity are associated with poor health outcomes in the elderly, the biological bases of obesity-related behaviors during aging are poorly understood. Common variants in the FTO gene are associated with adiposity in children and younger adults as well as with adverse mental health in older individuals. However, it is unclear whether FTO influences longitudinal trajectories of adiposity and other intermediate phenotypes relevant to mental health during aging. We examined whether a commonly carried obesity-risk variant in the FTO gene (rs1421085 single-nucleotide polymorphism) influences adiposity and is associated with changes in brain function in participants within the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, one of the longest-running longitudinal aging studies in the United States. Our results show that obesity-related risk allele carriers of FTO gene show dose-dependent increments in body mass index during aging. Moreover, the obesity-related risk allele is associated with reduced medial prefrontal cortical function during aging. Consistent with reduced brain function in regions intrinsic to impulse control and taste responsiveness, risk allele carriers of FTO exhibit dose-dependent increments in both impulsivity and intake of fatty foods. We propose that a common neural mechanism may underlie obesity-associated impulsivity and increased consumption of high-calorie foods during aging.

  10. /sup 3/H-imipramine binding in aged mouse brain: regulation by ions and serotonin

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    Severson, J.A.

    1986-03-01

    The density of binding sites (Bmax) for /sup 3/H-imipramine was elevated in cerebral cortical, hypothalamic and hippocampal membranes from 24 month old male C57BL/6J mice. Cerebellar binding was constant with increasing age. There were no changes in the equilibrium dissociation constant (Kd) for /sup 3/H-imipramine in any brain region. The increase in the binding of /sup 3/H-imipramine induced by sodium and chloride ions in vitro was diminished in cerebral cortical homogenates from aged mice; both the sodium-sensitive and chloride-sensitive components of binding were about 50% less in aged mice. Dose-response curves indicated that the effectiveness with which chloride enhanced binding was similar with age, even though the absolute increase in binding was less. The rate of dissociation of /sup 3/H-imipramine from cerebral cortical homogenates was similar with age and serotonin slowed the rate of dissociation equally at all ages. Possible mechanisms for the age-related increase in brain /sup 3/H-imipramine binding are discussed. Ion-sensitive binding is discussed in relationship to the current controversy surrounding desipramine-sensitive versus ion-sensitive binding.

  11. Brain protein oxidation in age-related neurodegenerative disorders that are associated with aggregated proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, D A; Kanski, J

    2001-07-15

    Protein oxidation, one of a number of brain biomarkers of oxidative stress, is increased in several age-related neurodegenerative disorders or animal models thereof, including Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, prion disorders, such as Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, and alpha-synuclein disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and frontotemporal dementia. Each of these neurodegenerative disorders is associated with aggregated proteins in brain. However, the relationship among protein oxidation, protein aggregation, and neurodegeneration remain unclear. The current rapid progress in elucidation of mechanisms of protein oxidation in neuronal loss should provide further insight into the importance of free radical oxidative stress in these neurodegenerative disorders.

  12. Exercise benefits for the aging brain depend on the accompanying cognitive load: insights from sleep electroencephalogram.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, Jim

    2013-11-01

    Although exercise clearly offsets aging effects on the body, its benefits for the aging brain are likely to depend on the extent that physical activity (especially locomotion) facilitates multisensory encounters, curiosity, and interactions with novel environments; this is especially true for exploratory activity, which occupies much of wakefulness for most mammals in the wild. Cognition is inseparable from physical activity, with both interlinked to promote neuroplasticity and more successful brain aging. In these respects and for humans, exercising in a static, featureless, artificially lit indoor setting contrasts with exploratory outdoor walking within a novel environment during daylight. However, little is known about the comparative benefits for the aging brain of longer-term daily regimens of this latter nature including the role of sleep, to the extent that sleep enhances neuroplasticity as shown in short-term laboratory studies. More discerning analyses of sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) slow-wave activity especially 0.5-2-Hz activity would provide greater insights into use-dependent recovery processes during longer-term tracking of these regimens and complement slower changing waking neuropsychologic and resting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures, including those of the brain's default mode network. Although the limited research only points to ephemeral small sleep EEG effects of pure exercise, more enduring effects seem apparent when physical activity incorporates cognitive challenges. In terms of "use it or lose it," curiosity-driven "getting out and about," encountering, interacting with, and enjoying novel situations may well provide the brain with its real exercise, further reflected in changes to the dynamics of sleep.

  13. Comparison of automated brain volumetry methods with stereology in children aged 2 to 3 years

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayer, Kristina N. [University Children' s Hospital of Zurich, Center for MR Research, Zurich (Switzerland); University Children' s Hospital, Pediatric Cardiology, Zurich (Switzerland); Latal, Beatrice [University Children' s Hospital, Child Development Center, Zurich (Switzerland); University Children' s Hospital, Children' s Research Center, Zurich (Switzerland); Knirsch, Walter [University Children' s Hospital, Pediatric Cardiology, Zurich (Switzerland); University Children' s Hospital, Children' s Research Center, Zurich (Switzerland); Scheer, Ianina [University Children' s Hospital, Department for Diagnostic Neuroradiology, Zurich (Switzerland); Rhein, Michael von [University Children' s Hospital, Child Development Center, Zurich (Switzerland); Reich, Bettina; Bauer, Juergen; Gummel, Kerstin [Justus-Liebig University, Pediatric Heart Center, University Hospital Giessen, Giessen (Germany); Roberts, Neil [University of Edinburgh, Clinical Research and Imaging Centre (CRIC), The Queens Medical Research Institute (QMRI), Edinburgh (United Kingdom); O' Gorman Tuura, Ruth [University Children' s Hospital of Zurich, Center for MR Research, Zurich (Switzerland); University Children' s Hospital, Children' s Research Center, Zurich (Switzerland)

    2016-09-15

    The accurate and precise measurement of brain volumes in young children is important for early identification of children with reduced brain volumes and an increased risk for neurodevelopmental impairment. Brain volumes can be measured from cerebral MRI (cMRI), but most neuroimaging tools used for cerebral segmentation and volumetry were developed for use in adults and have not been validated in infants or young children. Here, we investigate the feasibility and accuracy of three automated software methods (i.e., SPM, FSL, and FreeSurfer) for brain volumetry in young children and compare the measures with corresponding volumes obtained using the Cavalieri method of modern design stereology. Cerebral MRI data were collected from 21 children with a complex congenital heart disease (CHD) before Fontan procedure, at a median age of 27 months (range 20.9-42.4 months). Data were segmented with SPM, FSL, and FreeSurfer, and total intracranial volume (ICV) and total brain volume (TBV) were compared with corresponding measures obtained using the Cavalieri method. Agreement between the estimated brain volumes (ICV and TBV) relative to the gold standard stereological volumes was strongest for FreeSurfer (p < 0.001) and moderate for SPM segment (ICV p = 0.05; TBV p = 0.006). No significant association was evident between ICV and TBV obtained using SPM NewSegment and FSL FAST and the corresponding stereological volumes. FreeSurfer provides an accurate method for measuring brain volumes in young children, even in the presence of structural brain abnormalities. (orig.)

  14. Blood-brain barrier P-glycoprotein function decreases in specific brain regions with aging : A possible role in progressive neurodegeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bartels, Anna L.; Kortekaas, Rudie; Bart, Joost; Willemsen, Antoon T. M.; de Klerk, Onno L.; de Vries, Jeroen J.; van Oostrom, Joost C. H.; Leenders, Klaus L.

    2009-01-01

    Cerebrovascular P-glycoprotein (P-gp) acts at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) as an active cell membrane efflux pump for several endogenous and exogenous compounds. Age-associated decline in P-gp function could facilitate the accumulation of toxic substances in the brain, thus increasing the risk of n

  15. The relation of structural integrity and task-related functional connectivity in the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burianová, Hana; Marstaller, Lars; Choupan, Jeiran; Sepehrband, Farshid; Ziaei, Maryam; Reutens, David

    2015-10-01

    The relations among structural integrity, functional connectivity (FC), and cognitive performance in the aging brain are still understudied. Here, we used multimodal and multivariate approaches to specifically examine age-related changes in task-related FC, gray-matter volumetrics, white-matter integrity, and performance. Our results are two-fold, showing (i) age-related differences in FC of the working memory network and (ii) age-related recruitment of a compensatory network associated with better accuracy on the task. Increased connectivity in the compensatory network correlates positively with preserved white-matter integrity in bilateral frontoparietal tracks and with larger gray-matter volume of right inferior parietal lobule. These findings demonstrate the importance of structural integrity and FC in working memory performance associated with healthy aging.

  16. Fetal functional brain age assessed from universal developmental indices obtained from neuro-vegetative activity patterns.

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    Dirk Hoyer

    Full Text Available Fetal brain development involves the development of the neuro-vegetative (autonomic control that is mediated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS. Disturbances of the fetal brain development have implications for diseases in later postnatal life. In that context, the fetal functional brain age can be altered. Universal principles of developmental biology applied to patterns of autonomic control may allow a functional age assessment. The work aims at the development of a fetal autonomic brain age score (fABAS based on heart rate patterns. We analysed n = 113 recordings in quiet sleep, n = 286 in active sleep, and n = 29 in active awakeness from normals. We estimated fABAS from magnetocardiographic recordings (21.4-40.3 weeks of gestation preclassified in quiet sleep (n = 113, 63 females and active sleep (n = 286, 145 females state by cross-validated multivariate linear regression models in a cross-sectional study. According to universal system developmental principles, we included indices that address increasing fluctuation range, increasing complexity, and pattern formation (skewness, power spectral ratio VLF/LF, pNN5. The resulting models constituted fABAS. fABAS explained 66/63% (coefficient of determination R(2 of training and validation set of the variance by age in quiet, while 51/50% in active sleep. By means of a logistic regression model using fluctuation range and fetal age, quiet and active sleep were automatically reclassified (94.3/93.1% correct classifications. We did not find relevant gender differences. We conclude that functional brain age can be assessed based on universal developmental indices obtained from autonomic control patterns. fABAS reflect normal complex functional brain maturation. The presented normative data are supplemented by an explorative study of 19 fetuses compromised by intrauterine growth restriction. We observed a shift in the state distribution towards active awakeness. The lower WGA

  17. Expression of Ambra1 in mouse brain during physiological and Alzheimer type aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepe, Sara; Nardacci, Roberta; Fanelli, Francesca; Rosso, Pamela; Bernardi, Cinzia; Cecconi, Francesco; Mastroberardino, Pier G; Piacentini, Mauro; Moreno, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    Autophagy is a major protein degradation pathway, essential for stress-induced and constitutive protein turnover. In nervous tissue, autophagy is constitutively active and crucial to neuronal survival. The efficiency of the autophagic pathway reportedly undergoes age-related decline, and autophagy defects are observed in neurodegenerative diseases. Since Ambra1 plays a fundamental role in regulating the autophagic process in developing nervous tissue, we investigated the expression of this protein in mature mouse brain and during physiological and Alzheimer type aging. The present study accomplished the first complete map of Ambra1 protein distribution in the various brain areas, and highlights differential expression in neuronal/glial cell populations. Differences in Ambra1 content are possibly related to specific neuronal features and properties, particularly concerning susceptibility to neurodegeneration. Furthermore, the analysis of Ambra1 expression in physiological and pathological brain aging supports important, though conflicting, functions of autophagy in neurodegenerative processes. Thus, novel therapeutic approaches, based on autophagy modulation, should also take into account the age-dependent roles of this mechanism in establishing, promoting, or counteracting neurodegeneration.

  18. Changes in whole-brain functional networks and memory performance in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala-Llonch, Roser; Junqué, Carme; Arenaza-Urquijo, Eider M; Vidal-Piñeiro, Dídac; Valls-Pedret, Cinta; Palacios, Eva M; Domènech, Sara; Salvà, Antoni; Bargalló, Nuria; Bartrés-Faz, David

    2014-10-01

    We used resting-functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 98 healthy older adults to analyze how local and global measures of functional brain connectivity are affected by age, and whether they are related to differences in memory performance. Whole-brain networks were created individually by parcellating the brain into 90 cerebral regions and obtaining pairwise connectivity. First, we studied age-associations in interregional connectivity and their relationship with the length of the connections. Aging was associated with less connectivity in the long-range connections of fronto-parietal and fronto-occipital systems and with higher connectivity of the short-range connections within frontal, parietal, and occipital lobes. We also used the graph theory to measure functional integration and segregation. The pattern of the overall age-related correlations presented positive correlations of average minimum path length (r = 0.380, p = 0.008) and of global clustering coefficients (r = 0.454, p < 0.001), leading to less integrated and more segregated global networks. Main correlations in clustering coefficients were located in the frontal and parietal lobes. Higher clustering coefficients of some areas were related to lower performance in verbal and visual memory functions. In conclusion, we found that older participants showed lower connectivity of long-range connections together with higher functional segregation of these same connections, which appeared to indicate a more local clustering of information processing. Higher local clustering in older participants was negatively related to memory performance.

  19. Regional age-related effects in the monkey brain measured with 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronen, Itamar; Fan, Xiaoying; Schettler, Steve; Jain, Sahil; Murray, Donna; Kim, Dae-Shik; Killiany, Ronald; Rosene, Douglas

    2011-06-01

    The rhesus monkey is a useful model for examining age-related effects on the brain, because of the extensive neuroanatomical homology between the monkey and the human brain, the tight control for neurological diseases as well as the possibility of obtaining relevant behavioral data and post-mortem tissue for histological analyses. Here, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) was used together with high-resolution anatomical MRI images to carefully assess regional concentrations of brain metabolites in a group of 20 rhesus monkeys. In an anterior volume of interest (VOI) that covered frontal and prefrontal areas, significant positive correlations of myo-inositol and of total creatine concentrations with age were detected, whereas N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and choline compounds (Cho) were not significantly correlated with age. In an occipito-parietal VOI, all metabolites showed no statistically significant age-dependent trend. Strong correlations were found between NAA concentration and gray matter fraction in the VOIs as well as between choline compounds and white matter fraction.

  20. Childhood cognitive ability accounts for associations between cognitive ability and brain cortical thickness in old age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karama, S; Bastin, M E; Murray, C; Royle, N A; Penke, L; Muñoz Maniega, S; Gow, A J; Corley, J; Valdés Hernández, M del C; Lewis, J D; Rousseau, M-É; Lepage, C; Fonov, V; Collins, D L; Booth, T; Rioux, P; Sherif, T; Adalat, R; Starr, J M; Evans, A C; Wardlaw, J M; Deary, I J

    2014-05-01

    Associations between brain cortical tissue volume and cognitive function in old age are frequently interpreted as suggesting that preservation of cortical tissue is the foundation of successful cognitive aging. However, this association could also, in part, reflect a lifelong association between cognitive ability and cortical tissue. We analyzed data on 588 subjects from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 who had intelligence quotient (IQ) scores from the same cognitive test available at both 11 and 70 years of age as well as high-resolution brain magnetic resonance imaging data obtained at approximately 73 years of age. Cortical thickness was estimated at 81 924 sampling points across the cortex for each subject using an automated pipeline. Multiple regression was used to assess associations between cortical thickness and the IQ measures at 11 and 70 years. Childhood IQ accounted for more than two-third of the association between IQ at 70 years and cortical thickness measured at age 73 years. This warns against ascribing a causal interpretation to the association between cognitive ability and cortical tissue in old age based on assumptions about, and exclusive reference to, the aging process and any associated disease. Without early-life measures of cognitive ability, it would have been tempting to conclude that preservation of cortical thickness in old age is a foundation for successful cognitive aging when, instead, it is a lifelong association. This being said, results should not be construed as meaning that all studies on aging require direct measures of childhood IQ, but as suggesting that proxy measures of prior cognitive function can be useful to take into consideration.

  1. Sparse representation of brain aging: extracting covariance patterns from structural MRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Longfei Su

    Full Text Available An enhanced understanding of how normal aging alters brain structure is urgently needed for the early diagnosis and treatment of age-related mental diseases. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI is a reliable technique used to detect age-related changes in the human brain. Currently, multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA enables the exploration of subtle and distributed changes of data obtained from structural MRI images. In this study, a new MVPA approach based on sparse representation has been employed to investigate the anatomical covariance patterns of normal aging. Two groups of participants (group 1:290 participants; group 2:56 participants were evaluated in this study. These two groups were scanned with two 1.5 T MRI machines. In the first group, we obtained the discriminative patterns using a t-test filter and sparse representation step. We were able to distinguish the young from old cohort with a very high accuracy using only a few voxels of the discriminative patterns (group 1:98.4%; group 2:96.4%. The experimental results showed that the selected voxels may be categorized into two components according to the two steps in the proposed method. The first component focuses on the precentral and postcentral gyri, and the caudate nucleus, which play an important role in sensorimotor tasks. The strongest volume reduction with age was observed in these clusters. The second component is mainly distributed over the cerebellum, thalamus, and right inferior frontal gyrus. These regions are not only critical nodes of the sensorimotor circuitry but also the cognitive circuitry although their volume shows a relative resilience against aging. Considering the voxels selection procedure, we suggest that the aging of the sensorimotor and cognitive brain regions identified in this study has a covarying relationship with each other.

  2. Regional changes in glucose metabolism during brain development from the age of 6 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bogaert, P; Wikler, D; Damhaut, P; Szliwowski, H B; Goldman, S

    1998-07-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) with [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) studies of 42 subjects ages 6 to 38 years were analyzed using statistical parametric mapping to identify age-related changes in regional distribution of glucose metabolism adjusted for global activity. Whereas adults were normal volunteers, children had idiopathic epilepsy. We studied polynomial expansions of age to identify nonlinear effects and found that adjusted glucose metabolism varied very significantly in the thalamus and the anterior cingulate cortex and to a lesser degree in the basal ganglia, the mesencephalon, and the insular, posterior cingulate, frontal, and postcentral cortices. Regression plots slowed that the best fit was not linear: adjusted glucose metabolism increased mainly before the age of 25 years and then remained relatively stable. Effects persisted when anti-epileptic drug intake and sleep during the FDG uptake were considered as confounding covariates. To determine if the metabolic changes observed were not due to the epileptic condition of the children, PET data obtained in adults with temporal lobe epilepsy were compared with those in our group of normal adult subjects, resulting in the absence of mapping in the age-related regions. This study suggests that brain maturation from the age of 6 years gives rise to a relative increase of synaptic activities in the thalamus, possibly as a consequence of improved corticothalamic connections. Increased metabolic activity in the anterior cingulate cortex is probably related to these thalamic changes and suggests that the limbic system is involved in the processes of brain maturation.

  3. Proteomic analysis and functional characterization of mouse brain mitochondria during aging reveal alterations in energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stauch, Kelly L; Purnell, Phillip R; Villeneuve, Lance M; Fox, Howard S

    2015-05-01

    Mitochondria are the main cellular source of reactive oxygen species and are recognized as key players in several age-associated disorders and neurodegeneration. Their dysfunction has also been linked to cellular aging. Additionally, mechanisms leading to the preservation of mitochondrial function promote longevity. In this study we investigated the proteomic and functional alterations in brain mitochondria isolated from mature (5 months old), old (12 months old), and aged (24 months old) mice as determinants of normal "healthy" aging. Here the global changes concomitant with aging in the mitochondrial proteome of mouse brain analyzed by quantitative mass-spectrometry based super-SILAC identified differentially expressed proteins involved in several metabolic pathways including glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. Despite these changes, the bioenergetic function of these mitochondria was preserved. Overall, this data indicates that proteomic changes during aging may compensate for functional defects aiding in preservation of mitochondrial function. The mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium with the data set identifier PXD001370 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD001370).

  4. Aging is associated with dimerization and inactivation of the brain-enriched tyrosine phosphatase STEP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajagopal, Sathyanarayanan; Deb, Ishani; Poddar, Ranjana; Paul, Surojit

    2016-05-01

    The STriatal-Enriched tyrosine Phosphatase (STEP) is involved in the etiology of several age-associated neurologic disorders linked to oxidative stress and is also known to play a role in neuroprotection by modulating glutamatergic transmission. However, the possible effect of aging on STEP level and activity in the brain is still unclear. In this study, using young (1 month), adult (4 months), and aged (18 months) rats, we show that aging is associated with increase in dimerization and loss of activity of STEP. Increased dimerization of STEP is primarily observed in the cortex and hippocampus and is associated with depletion of both reduced and total glutathione levels, suggesting an increase in oxidative stress. Consistent with this interpretation, studies in cell culture models of glutathione depletion and oxidative stress also demonstrate formation of dimers and higher order oligomers of STEP that involve intermolecular disulfide bond formation between multiple cysteine residues. Conversely, administration of N-acetyl cysteine, a major antioxidant that enhances glutathione biosynthesis, attenuates STEP dimerization both in the cortex and hippocampus. The findings indicate that loss of this intrinsic protective response pathway with age-dependent increase in oxidative stress may be a contributing factor for the susceptibility of the brain to age-associated neurologic disorders.

  5. Shaping the aging brain: Role of auditory input patterns in the emergence of auditory cortical impairments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brishna Soraya Kamal

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Age-related impairments in the primary auditory cortex (A1 include poor tuning selectivity, neural desynchronization and degraded responses to low-probability sounds. These changes have been largely attributed to reduced inhibition in the aged brain, and are thought to contribute to substantial hearing impairment in both humans and animals. Since many of these changes can be partially reversed with auditory training, it has been speculated that they might not be purely degenerative, but might rather represent negative plastic adjustments to noisy or distorted auditory signals reaching the brain. To test this hypothesis, we examined the impact of exposing young adult rats to 8 weeks of low-grade broadband noise on several aspects of A1 function and structure. We then characterized the same A1 elements in aging rats for comparison. We found that the impact of noise exposure on A1 tuning selectivity, temporal processing of auditory signal and responses to oddball tones was almost indistinguishable from the effect of natural aging. Moreover, noise exposure resulted in a reduction in the population of parvalbumin inhibitory interneurons and cortical myelin as previously documented in the aged group. Most of these changes reversed after returning the rats to a quiet environment. These results support the hypothesis that age-related changes in A1 have a strong activity-dependent component and indicate that the presence or absence of clear auditory input patterns might be a key factor in sustaining adult A1 function.

  6. Computed tomographic features of the feline brain change with advancing age?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviam R. Babicsak

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: A better understanding of normal or expected encephalic changes with increasing age in cats is needed as a growing number of these animals is attended in veterinary clinics, and imaging data referring to normal age-associated changes are extremely scarce in the literature. The objective of this study was to identify age-related changes in feline brain using CT imaging. Fifteen non-brachycephalic healthy cats with age between 1 to 6 years (adult group and others over 12 years (geriatric group were submitted to CT scan of the brain. Statistically significant differences were found between the groups for the ability to identify the left lateral ventricle and for falx cerebri calcification, both identified in a greater number of cats of the geriatric group. A significantly higher mean width of the third ventricle was also detected in geriatric animals. There were no statistically significant differences between lateral ventricular dimensions and encephalic parenchymal attenuation on pre and post-contrast CT phases. The results of the present study show an increase in the incidence of falx cerebri calcification and a third ventricular dilatation with advancing age in cats. Future researches using MRI scanners and a greater quantity of cats are needed in order to identify supplementary age-related changes.

  7. Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders and Brain and Body Donation Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beach, Thomas G; Adler, Charles H; Sue, Lucia I; Serrano, Geidy; Shill, Holly A; Walker, Douglas G; Lue, LihFen; Roher, Alex E; Dugger, Brittany N; Maarouf, Chera; Birdsill, Alex C; Intorcia, Anthony; Saxon-Labelle, Megan; Pullen, Joel; Scroggins, Alexander; Filon, Jessica; Scott, Sarah; Hoffman, Brittany; Garcia, Angelica; Caviness, John N; Hentz, Joseph G; Driver-Dunckley, Erika; Jacobson, Sandra A; Davis, Kathryn J; Belden, Christine M; Long, Kathy E; Malek-Ahmadi, Michael; Powell, Jessica J; Gale, Lisa D; Nicholson, Lisa R; Caselli, Richard J; Woodruff, Bryan K; Rapscak, Steven Z; Ahern, Geoffrey L; Shi, Jiong; Burke, Anna D; Reiman, Eric M; Sabbagh, Marwan N

    2015-08-01

    The Brain and Body Donation Program (BBDP) at Banner Sun Health Research Institute (http://www.brainandbodydonationprogram.org) started in 1987 with brain-only donations and currently has banked more than 1600 brains. More than 430 whole-body donations have been received since this service was commenced in 2005. The collective academic output of the BBDP is now described as the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders (AZSAND). Most BBDP subjects are enrolled as cognitively normal volunteers residing in the retirement communities of metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. Specific recruitment efforts are also directed at subjects with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and cancer. The median age at death is 82. Subjects receive standardized general medical, neurological, neuropsychological and movement disorders assessments during life and more than 90% receive full pathological examinations by medically licensed pathologists after death. The Program has been funded through a combination of internal, federal and state of Arizona grants as well as user fees and pharmaceutical industry collaborations. Subsets of the Program are utilized by the US National Institute on Aging Arizona Alzheimer's Disease Core Center and the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke National Brain and Tissue Resource for Parkinson's Disease and Related Disorders. Substantial funding has also been received from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. The Program has made rapid autopsy a priority, with a 3.0-hour median post-mortem interval for the entire collection. The median RNA Integrity Number (RIN) for frozen brain and body tissue is 8.9 and 7.4, respectively. More than 2500 tissue requests have been served and currently about 200 are served annually. These requests have been made by more than 400 investigators located in 32 US states and 15 countries. Tissue from the BBDP has contributed to more than 350 publications and more than 200

  8. Improving memory in Parkinson's disease: a healthy brain ageing cognitive training program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naismith, Sharon L; Mowszowski, Loren; Diamond, Keri; Lewis, Simon J G

    2013-07-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a multifactorial 'healthy brain ageing cognitive training program' for Parkinson's disease. Using a single-blinded waitlist control design, 50 participants with Parkinson's disease were recruited from the Brain & Mind Research Institute, Sydney, Australia. The intervention encompassed both psychoeducation and cognitive training; each component lasted 1-hour. The 2-hour sessions were delivered in a group format, twice-weekly over a 7-week period. Multifactorial psychoeducation was delivered by a range of health professionals. In addition to delivering cognitive strategies, it targeted depression, anxiety, sleep, vascular risk factors, diet, and exercise. Cognitive training was computer-based and was conducted by clinical neuropsychologists. The primary outcome was memory. Secondary outcomes included other aspects of cognition and knowledge pertaining to the psychoeducation material. Results demonstrated that cognitive training was associated with significant improvements in learning and memory corresponding to medium to large effect sizes. Treatment was also associated with medium effect size improvements in knowledge. Although the study was limited by the lack of randomized allocation to treatment and control groups, these findings suggest that a healthy brain ageing cognitive training program may be a viable tool to improve memory and/or slow cognitive decline in people with Parkinson's disease. It also appeared successful for increasing awareness of adaptive and/or compensatory cognitive strategies, as well as modifiable risk factors to optimize brain functioning.

  9. The role of free radicals in the aging brain and Parkinson's Disease: convergence and parallelism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Hemant; Lim, Hyung-Woo; More, Sandeep Vasant; Kim, Byung-Wook; Koppula, Sushruta; Kim, In Su; Choi, Dong-Kug

    2012-01-01

    Free radical production and their targeted action on biomolecules have roles in aging and age-related disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD). There is an age-associated increase in oxidative damage to the brain, and aging is considered a risk factor for PD. Dopaminergic neurons show linear fallout of 5-10% per decade with aging; however, the rate and intensity of neuronal loss in patients with PD is more marked than that of aging. Here, we enumerate the common link between aging and PD at the cellular level with special reference to oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Oxidative damage includes mitochondrial dysfunction, dopamine auto-oxidation, α-synuclein aggregation, glial cell activation, alterations in calcium signaling, and excess free iron. Moreover, neurons encounter more oxidative stress as a counteracting mechanism with advancing age does not function properly. Alterations in transcriptional activity of various pathways, including nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2, glycogen synthase kinase 3β, mitogen activated protein kinase, nuclear factor kappa B, and reduced activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione with aging might be correlated with the increased incidence of PD.

  10. Growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 and the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashpole, Nicole M; Sanders, Jessica E; Hodges, Erik L; Yan, Han; Sonntag, William E

    2015-08-01

    Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 regulate the development and function of cells throughout the body. Several clinical diseases that result in a decline in physical and mental functions are marked by mutations that disrupt GH or IGF-1 signaling. During the lifespan there is a robust decrease in both GH and IGF-1. Because GH and IGF-1 are master regulators of cellular function, impaired GH and IGF-1 signaling in aging/disease states leads to significant alterations in tissue structure and function, especially within the brain. This review is intended to highlight the effects of the GH and IGF-1 on neuronal structure, function, and plasticity. Furthermore, we address several potential mechanisms through which the age-related reductions in GH and IGF-1 affect cognition. Together, the studies reviewed here highlight the importance of maintaining GH and IGF-1 signaling in order to sustain proper brain function throughout the lifespan.

  11. Effects of Fish Oil Diet and Age on the Fatty Acid Composition and the Endogenous Lipase Activity in Mouse Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, H; Jin, Z; Wada, O

    2000-01-01

    The influences of a fish oil diet and aging on the fatty acid composition in mouse brain, and the release of polyunsaturated fatty acids from brain membranes by endogenous lipase were studied. The changes in brain fatty acid composition with aging were determined in 5-weeks, 5-months and 19-months old mice fed on a commercial chow. Mice of different ages were also fed a fish oil or lard diet for 30 days, and the influence of the diets on brain fatty acid composition and endogenous lipase activity was analyzed. In aged mice fed on a commercial chow brain arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (%) decreased significantly, whereas blood arachidonic acid (%) increased and docosahexaenoic acid (%) did not change. The percentages of brain docosahexaenoic acid were significantly higher but those of arachidonic acid were lower in the fish oil diet group than in the lard diet group. However, there were no significant differences in the endogenous lipase activity between the different age or dietary groups. The release of arachidonic acid showed a tendency to decrease and docosahexaenoic acid to increase in mice fed on the fish oil diet. These results suggest that dietary lipids affect the percentages of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids which are released by the endogenous lipase in brain although the decreases in brain polyunsaturated fatty acid content with aging are not due to the enzyme activation, and dietary lipids do not influence the enzyme activity.

  12. A review of cardiorespiratory fitness-related neuroplasticity in the aging brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott M Hayes

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The literature examining the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and the brain in older adults has increased rapidly, with 30 of 34 studies published since 2008. Here we review cross-sectional and exercise intervention studies in older adults examining the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and brain structure and function, typically assessed using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI. Studies of patients with Alzheimer’s disease are discussed when available. The structural MRI studies revealed a consistent positive relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and brain volume in cortical regions including anterior cingulate, lateral prefrontal, and lateral parietal cortex. Support for a positive relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and medial temporal lobe volume was less consistent, although evident when a region-of-interest approach was implemented. In fMRI studies, cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults was associated with activation in similar regions as those identified in the structural studies, including anterior cingulate, lateral prefrontal, and lateral parietal cortex, despite heterogeneity among the functional tasks implemented. This comprehensive review highlights the overlap in brain regions showing a positive relationship with cardiorespiratory fitness in both structural and functional imaging modalities. The findings suggest that aerobic exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness contribute to healthy brain aging, although additional studies in Alzheimer’s disease are needed.

  13. Exercise-related changes of networks in aging and mild cognitive impairment brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei eHuang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Aging and mild cognitive impairment are accompanied by decline of cognitive functions. Meanwhile, the most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which is characterized by loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious to make difficulties for patients in their daily life. Mild cognitive impairment is a transition period between normal aging and dementia, which has been used for early detection of emerging dementia. It converts to dementia with an annual rate of 5-15% as compared to normal aging with 1% rate. Small decreases in the conversion rate of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease might significantly reduce the prevalence of dementia. Thus, it is important to intervene at the preclinical stage. Since there are still no effective drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, non-drug intervention is crucial for the prevention and treatment of cognitive decline in aging and mild cognitive impairment populations. Previous studies have found some cognitive brain networks disrupted in aging and mild cognitive impairment population, and physical exercise could effectively remediate the function of these brain networks. Understanding the exercise-related mechanisms is crucial to design efficient and effective physical exercise programs for treatment/intervention of cognitive decline. In this review, we provide an overview of the neuroimaging studies on physical training in normal aging and mild cognitive impairment to identify the potential mechanisms underlying current physical training procedures. Studies of functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography and positron emission tomography on brain networks were all included. Based on our review, the default mode network, fronto-parietal network and fronto-executive network are probably the three most valuable targets for efficiency evaluation of interventions.

  14. Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiting Zhang

    Full Text Available Many studies indicate a crucial role for the vitamin B12 and folate-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS in brain development and function, but vitamin B12 status in the brain across the lifespan has not been previously investigated. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl exists in multiple forms, including methylcobalamin (MeCbl and adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl, serving as cofactors for MS and methylmalonylCoA mutase, respectively. We measured levels of five Cbl species in postmortem human frontal cortex of 43 control subjects, from 19 weeks of fetal development through 80 years of age, and 12 autistic and 9 schizophrenic subjects. Total Cbl was significantly lower in older control subjects (> 60 yrs of age, primarily reflecting a >10-fold age-dependent decline in the level of MeCbl. Levels of inactive cyanocobalamin (CNCbl were remarkably higher in fetal brain samples. In both autistic and schizophrenic subjects MeCbl and AdoCbl levels were more than 3-fold lower than age-matched controls. In autistic subjects lower MeCbl was associated with decreased MS activity and elevated levels of its substrate homocysteine (HCY. Low levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH have been linked to both autism and schizophrenia, and both total Cbl and MeCbl levels were decreased in glutamate-cysteine ligase modulatory subunit knockout (GCLM-KO mice, which exhibit low GSH levels. Thus our findings reveal a previously unrecognized decrease in brain vitamin B12 status across the lifespan that may reflect an adaptation to increasing antioxidant demand, while accelerated deficits due to GSH deficiency may contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.

  15. Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yiting; Hodgson, Nathaniel W; Trivedi, Malav S; Abdolmaleky, Hamid M; Fournier, Margot; Cuenod, Michel; Do, Kim Quang; Deth, Richard C

    2016-01-01

    Many studies indicate a crucial role for the vitamin B12 and folate-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS) in brain development and function, but vitamin B12 status in the brain across the lifespan has not been previously investigated. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) exists in multiple forms, including methylcobalamin (MeCbl) and adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), serving as cofactors for MS and methylmalonylCoA mutase, respectively. We measured levels of five Cbl species in postmortem human frontal cortex of 43 control subjects, from 19 weeks of fetal development through 80 years of age, and 12 autistic and 9 schizophrenic subjects. Total Cbl was significantly lower in older control subjects (> 60 yrs of age), primarily reflecting a >10-fold age-dependent decline in the level of MeCbl. Levels of inactive cyanocobalamin (CNCbl) were remarkably higher in fetal brain samples. In both autistic and schizophrenic subjects MeCbl and AdoCbl levels were more than 3-fold lower than age-matched controls. In autistic subjects lower MeCbl was associated with decreased MS activity and elevated levels of its substrate homocysteine (HCY). Low levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) have been linked to both autism and schizophrenia, and both total Cbl and MeCbl levels were decreased in glutamate-cysteine ligase modulatory subunit knockout (GCLM-KO) mice, which exhibit low GSH levels. Thus our findings reveal a previously unrecognized decrease in brain vitamin B12 status across the lifespan that may reflect an adaptation to increasing antioxidant demand, while accelerated deficits due to GSH deficiency may contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.

  16. Sexually dimorphic brain volume interaction in college-aged binge drinkers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timo L. Kvamme

    2016-01-01

    Conclusions: These findings dovetail with previous studies reporting that a state effect of BD in college-aged drinkers and the severity of alcohol use are associated with volumetric alterations in the cortical and subcortical areas of the brain. Our study indicates that these widespread volumetric changes vary differentially by gender, suggesting either sexual dimorphic endophenotypic risk factors, or differential neurotoxic sensitivities for males and females.

  17. Brain aging and metabolic syndrome: a study in Cenischia Valley (Piedmont).

    OpenAIRE

    Marianna Rinaldi; Giuseppe Graffi; Salvatore Gallone; Emma Rabino Massa

    2011-01-01

    The Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a set of conditions, each of which represents a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (central obesity, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and hypertension). Recent studies have identified an association between MetS and increased risk of dementia (Vascular Dementia and Late Onset Alzheimer's Disease ). The purpose of our research is the study of brain aging and cognitive decline in a sample of elderly people (n=200) belonging to a rural alpine community, in r...

  18. Alzheimer's disease and amyloid beta-peptide deposition in the brain: a matter of 'aging'?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moro, Maria Luisa; Collins, Matthew J; Cappellini, Enrico

    2010-01-01

    Biomolecules can experience aging processes that limit their long-term functionality in organisms. Typical markers of protein aging are spontaneous chemical modifications, such as AAR (amino acid racemization) and AAI (amino acid isomerization), mainly involving aspartate and asparagine residues....... Since these modifications may affect folding and turnover, they reduce protein functionality over time and may be linked to pathological conditions. The present mini-review describes evidence of AAR and AAI involvement in the misfolding and brain accumulation of Abeta (amyloid beta-peptide), a central...

  19. Age of language learning shapes brain structure: a cortical thickness study of bilingual and monolingual individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Denise; Mok, Kelvin; Chen, Jen-Kai; Watkins, Kate E

    2014-04-01

    We examined the effects of learning a second language (L2) on brain structure. Cortical thickness was measured in the MRI datasets of 22 monolinguals and 66 bilinguals. Some bilingual subjects had learned both languages simultaneously (0-3 years) while some had learned their L2 after achieving proficiency in their first language during either early (4-7 years) or late childhood (8-13 years). Later acquisition of L2 was associated with significantly thicker cortex in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and thinner cortex in the right IFG. These effects were seen in the group comparisons of monolinguals, simultaneous bilinguals and early and late bilinguals. Within the bilingual group, significant correlations between age of acquisition of L2 and cortical thickness were seen in the same regions: cortical thickness correlated with age of acquisition positively in the left IFG and negatively in the right IFG. Interestingly, the monolinguals and simultaneous bilinguals did not differ in cortical thickness in any region. Our results show that learning a second language after gaining proficiency in the first language modifies brain structure in an age-dependent manner whereas simultaneous acquisition of two languages has no additional effect on brain development.

  20. The perimenopausal aging transition in the female rat brain: decline in bioenergetic systems and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Fei; Yao, Jia; Sancheti, Harsh; Feng, Tao; Melcangi, Roberto C; Morgan, Todd E; Finch, Caleb E; Pike, Christian J; Mack, Wendy J; Cadenas, Enrique; Brinton, Roberta D

    2015-07-01

    The perimenopause is an aging transition unique to the female that leads to reproductive senescence which can be characterized by multiple neurological symptoms. To better understand potential underlying mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause, the present study determined genomic, biochemical, brain metabolic, and electrophysiological transformations that occur during this transition using a rat model recapitulating fundamental characteristics of the human perimenopause. Gene expression analyses indicated two distinct aging programs: chronological and endocrine. A critical period emerged during the endocrine transition from regular to irregular cycling characterized by decline in bioenergetic gene expression, confirmed by deficits in fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) brain metabolism, mitochondrial function, and long-term potentiation. Bioinformatic analysis predicted insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase/peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (AMPK/PGC1α) signaling pathways as upstream regulators. Onset of acyclicity was accompanied by a rise in genes required for fatty acid metabolism, inflammation, and mitochondrial function. Subsequent chronological aging resulted in decline of genes required for mitochondrial function and β-amyloid degradation. Emergence of glucose hypometabolism and impaired synaptic function in brain provide plausible mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause and may be predictive of later-life vulnerability to hypometabolic conditions such as Alzheimer's.

  1. Age dependent white matter lesions and brain volume changes in healthy volunteers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, P; Larsson, H B; Thomsen, C

    1994-01-01

    The brain of 142 healthy volunteers aged 21 to 80 years were investigated using MR imaging. The number and size of the white matter hyperintensity lesions (WMHL) in the cerebral hemispheres were determined. Furthermore, the volume of the cerebral hemispheres and of the lateral ventricles...... was measured. An almost linear increase in the number of volunteers with WMHL was seen with aging for males and females. With aging a significant decrease in the volume of the cerebral hemispheres was found for males, and a significant increase in the volume of the lateral ventricles was seen for both males...... and females. Our results suggest that with aging central atrophy increases more (relatively) than cortical atrophy. No correlation was found between the decreasing volume of the cerebral hemispheres and the increasing number and size of WMHL, nor between the increasing volume of the lateral ventricles...

  2. Effects of age, task performance, and structural brain development on face processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen Kadosh, Kathrin; Johnson, Mark H; Dick, Frederic; Cohen Kadosh, Roi; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2013-07-01

    In this combined structural and functional MRI developmental study, we tested 48 participants aged 7-37 years on 3 simple face-processing tasks (identity, expression, and gaze task), which were designed to yield very similar performance levels across the entire age range. The same participants then carried out 3 more difficult out-of-scanner tasks, which provided in-depth measures of changes in performance. For our analysis we adopted a novel, systematic approach that allowed us to differentiate age- from performance-related changes in the BOLD response in the 3 tasks, and compared these effects to concomitant changes in brain structure. The processing of all face aspects activated the core face-network across the age range, as well as additional and partially separable regions. Small task-specific activations in posterior regions were found to increase with age and were distinct from more widespread activations that varied as a function of individual task performance (but not of age). Our results demonstrate that activity during face-processing changes with age, and these effects are still observed when controlling for changes associated with differences in task performance. Moreover, we found that changes in white and gray matter volume were associated with changes in activation with age and performance in the out-of-scanner tasks.

  3. Topological organization of functional brain networks in healthy children: differences in relation to age, sex, and intelligence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Wu

    Full Text Available Recent studies have demonstrated developmental changes of functional brain networks derived from functional connectivity using graph theoretical analysis, which has been rapidly translated to studies of brain network organization. However, little is known about sex- and IQ-related differences in the topological organization of functional brain networks during development. In this study, resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI was used to map the functional brain networks in 51 healthy children. We then investigated the effects of age, sex, and IQ on economic small-world properties and regional nodal properties of the functional brain networks. At a global level of whole networks, we found significant age-related increases in the small-worldness and local efficiency, significant higher values of the global efficiency in boys compared with girls, and no significant IQ-related difference. Age-related increases in the regional nodal properties were found predominately in the frontal brain regions, whereas the parietal, temporal, and occipital brain regions showed age-related decreases. Significant sex-related differences in the regional nodal properties were found in various brain regions, primarily related to the default mode, language, and vision systems. Positive correlations between IQ and the regional nodal properties were found in several brain regions related to the attention system, whereas negative correlations were found in various brain regions primarily involved in the default mode, emotion, and language systems. Together, our findings of the network topology of the functional brain networks in healthy children and its relationship with age, sex, and IQ bring new insights into the understanding of brain maturation and cognitive development during childhood and adolescence.

  4. Non-injurious neonatal hypoxia confers resistance to brain senescence in aged male rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Martin

    Full Text Available Whereas brief acute or intermittent episodes of hypoxia have been shown to exert a protective role in the central nervous system and to stimulate neurogenesis, other studies suggest that early hypoxia may constitute a risk factor that influences the future development of mental disorders. We therefore investigated the effects of a neonatal "conditioning-like" hypoxia (100% N₂, 5 min on the brain and the cognitive outcomes of rats until 720 days of age (physiologic senescence. We confirmed that such a short hypoxia led to brain neurogenesis within the ensuing weeks, along with reduced apoptosis in the hippocampus involving activation of Erk1/2 and repression of p38 and death-associated protein (DAP kinase. At 21 days of age, increased thicknesses and cell densities were recorded in various subregions, with strong synapsin activation. During aging, previous exposure to neonatal hypoxia was associated with enhanced memory retrieval scores specifically in males, better preservation of their brain integrity than controls, reduced age-related apoptosis, larger hippocampal cell layers, and higher expression of glutamatergic and GABAergic markers. These changes were accompanied with a marked expression of synapsin proteins, mainly of their phosphorylated active forms which constitute major players of synapse function and plasticity, and with increases of their key regulators, i.e. Erk1/2, the transcription factor EGR-1/Zif-268 and Src kinase. Moreover, the significantly higher interactions between PSD-95 scaffolding protein and NMDA receptors measured in the hippocampus of 720-day-old male animals strengthen the conclusion of increased synaptic functional activity and plasticity associated with neonatal hypoxia. Thus, early non-injurious hypoxia may trigger beneficial long term effects conferring higher resistance to senescence in aged male rats, with a better preservation of cognitive functions.

  5. Brain growth in Down syndrome subjects 15 to 22 weeks of gestational age and birth to 60 months.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt-Sidor, B; Wisniewski, K E; Shepard, T H; Sersen, E A

    1990-01-01

    We have found similarities of skull shape, brain growth and brain maturation in 17 DS and 10 non-DS (control) fetuses, ages 15-22 weeks of gestational age (Group A), and differences in 101 DS and 80 non-DS cases, from birth to 60 months (Group B). Postnatally, the gross neuropathological differences between DS and control brains are more distinct after 3-5 months of age. The anterior posterior diameter fronto-occipital length of the brain hemispheres is shortened and that is secondary to reduction of frontal lobe growth. Also flattening of occipital poles, narrowing of the superior temporal gyruses and generalized retardation of brain growth were common findings. Standard morphometric methods indicate changes from birth [Wisniewski et al. 1984, 1986, 1990]. The cerebral cortex of the DS cases had a 20-50% reduction of neurons since birth, mainly in the granular layers [Wisniewski et al. 1984, 1986, 1990]. Changes in brain weight with age were greater in the non-DS than in the DS cases, and greater in males than in females. CHD and GI malformations were associated with less brain weight in both DS and non-DS cases. We suggest that the prenatal retardation of neurogenesis begins after 22 weeks' gestational age. The postnatal retardation of brain growth is secondary to pre- and postnatal abnormalities in synaptogenesis.

  6. Age-associated changes of brain copper, iron, and zinc in Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Stewart F; Nasaruddin, Muhammad Bin; Carey, Manus; Holscher, Christian; McGuinness, Bernadette; Kehoe, Patrick G; Love, Seth; Passmore, Peter; Elliott, Christopher T; Meharg, Andrew A; Green, Brian D

    2014-01-01

    Disease-, age-, and gender-associated changes in brain copper, iron, and zinc were assessed in postmortem neocortical tissue (Brodmann area 7) from patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) (n = 14), severe AD (n = 28), dementia with Lewy bodies (n = 15), and normal age-matched control subjects (n = 26). Copper was lower (20%; p iron higher (10-16%; p iron, suggesting gradual age-associated decline of these metals in healthy non-cognitively impaired individuals. Zinc was unaffected in any disease pathologies and no age-associated changes were apparent. Age-associated changes in brain elements warrant further investigation.

  7. The effects of aging on dopaminergic neurotransmission: a microPET study of [11C]-raclopride binding in the aged rodent brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoekzema, E; Herance, R; Rojas, S; Pareto, D; Abad, S; Jiménez, X; Figueiras, F P; Popota, F; Ruiz, A; Torrent, È; Fernández-Soriano, F J; Rocha, M; Rovira, M; Víctor, V M; Gispert, J D

    2010-12-29

    Rodent models are frequently used in aging research to investigate biochemical age effects and aid in the development of therapies for pathological and non-pathological age-related degenerative processes. In order to validate the use of animal models in aging research and pave the way for longitudinal intervention-based animal studies, the consistency of cerebral aging processes across species needs to be evaluated. The dopaminergic system seems particularly susceptible to the aging process, and one of the most consistent findings in human brain aging research is a decline in striatal D2-like receptor (D2R) availability, quantifiable by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. In this study, we aimed to assess whether similar age effects can be discerned in rat brains, using in vivo molecular imaging with the radioactive compound [(11)C]-raclopride. We observed a robust decline in striatal [(11)C]-raclopride uptake in the aged rats in comparison to the young control group, comprising a 41% decrement in striatal binding potential. In accordance with human studies, these results indicate that substantial reductions in D2R availability can be measured in the aged striatal complex. Our findings suggest that rat and human brains exhibit similar biochemical alterations with age in the striatal dopaminergic system, providing support for the pertinence of rodent models in aging research.

  8. The Role of Insulin, Insulin Growth Factor, and Insulin-Degrading Enzyme in Brain Aging and Alzheimer's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claude Messier

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Most brain insulin comes from the pancreas and is taken up by the brain by what appears to be a receptor-based carrier. Type 2 diabetes animal models associated with insulin resistance show reduced insulin brain uptake and content. Recent data point to changes in the insulin receptor cascade in obesity-related insulin resistance, suggesting that brain insulin receptors also become less sensitive to insulin, which could reduce synaptic plasticity. Insulin transport to the brain is reduced in aging and in some animal models of type 2 diabetes; brain insulin resistance may be present as well. Studies examining the effect of the hyperinsulinic clamp or intranasal insulin on cognitive function have found a small but consistent improvement in memory and changes in brain neuroelectric parameters in evoked brain potentials consistent with improved attention or memory processing. These effects appear to be due to raised brain insulin levels. Peripheral levels of Insulin Growth Factor-I (IGF-I are associated with glucose regulation and influence glucose disposal. There is some indication that reduced sensitivity to insulin or IGF-I in the brain, as observed in aging, obesity, and diabetes, decreases the clearance of Aβ amyloid. Such a decrease involves the insulin receptor cascade and can also increase amyloid toxicity. Insulin and IGF-I may modulate brain levels of insulin degrading enzyme, which would also lead to an accumulation of Aβ amyloid.

  9. Cerebral amyloid angiopathy: pathogenesis and effects on the ageing and Alzheimer brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weller, Roy O; Nicoll, James A

    2003-09-01

    Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is a feature of ageing and Alzheimer's disease (AD); it is also associated with intracerebral hemorrhage and stroke. Here, the pathogenesis of CAA and its effects on the brain are reviewed and the possible effects of CAA on therapies for Alzheimer's disease are evaluated. Tracer experiments in animals and observations on human brains suggest that peptides such as A beta are eliminated along the peri-arterial interstitial fluid drainage pathways that are effectively the lymphatics of the brain. In CAA, A beta becomes entrapped in drainage pathways in the walls of cerebral arteries, reflecting a failure of elimination of A beta from the ageing brain. One consequence of failure in clearance of A beta is accumulation of soluble and insoluble A beta associated with cognitive decline in AD. Replacement of vascular smooth muscle cells by A beta occurs in severe CAA with weakening of artery walls and increased risk of vessel rupture and intracerebral hemorrhage. Risk factors for CAA include mutations of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene and possession of the epsilon 4 allele of apolipoprotein E. There is also evidence that cerebrovascular disease may be a factor in the failure of elimination of A beta along perivascular pathways in sporadic AD; this would link ageing in cerebral arteries with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. If therapeutic agents, including anti-A beta antibodies, are to be used to eliminate A beta in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, the effects of CAA on the treatment and the effects of the treatment on the CAA need to be considered.

  10. DJ-1 immunoreactivity in human brain astrocytes is dependent on infarct presence and infarct age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullett, Steven J; Hamilton, Ronald L; Hinkle, David A

    2009-04-01

    DJ-1 is a protein with anti-oxidative stress and anti-apoptotic properties that is abundantly expressed in reactive CNS astrocytes in chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and Pick's disease. Genetic mutations which eliminate DJ-1 expression in humans are sufficient to produce an early-onset form of familial PD, PARK7, suggesting that DJ-1 is a critical component of the neuroprotective arsenal of the brain. Previous studies in parkinsonism/dementia brain tissues have revealed that reactive astrocytes within and surrounding incidentally identified infarcts were often robustly immunoreactive for DJ-1, especially if the infarcts showed histological features consistent with older age. Given this, we sought to evaluate astrocytic DJ-1 expression in human stroke more extensively, and with a particular emphasis on determining whether immunohistochemical DJ-1 expression in astrocytes correlates with histological infarct age. The studies presented here show that DJ-1 is abundantly expressed in reactive infarct region astrocytes in both gray and white matter, that subacute and chronic infarct region astrocytes are much more robustly DJ-1+ than are acute infarct and non-infarct region astrocytes, and that DJ-1 staining intensity in astrocytes generally correlates with that of the reactive astrocyte marker GFAP. Confocal imaging of DJ-1 and GFAP dual-labelled human brain sections were used to confirm the localization to and expression of DJ-1 in astrocytes. Neuronal DJ-1 staining was minimal under all infarct and non-infarct conditions. Our data support the conclusion that the major cellular DJ-1 response to stroke in the human brain is astrocytic, and that there is a temporal correlation between DJ-1 expression in these cells and advanced infarct age.

  11. Behavioral responses to and brain distribution of morphine in mature adult and aged mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burton, C.K.; Ho, I.K.; Hoskins, B.

    1986-03-01

    Mature adult (3-6 mo old) and aged (2 yr old) male ICR mice were injected with 10 to 100 mg/kg morphine, s.c. The ED50 values for running behavior (as measured using Stoelting activity monitors and having each mouse serve as its own control) representing 5 times control activity was approximately 7.5 mg/kg for aged mice and approximately 17.5 mg/kg for the mature adults. The ED50 values for analgesia 1 hr after morphine administration using the tail-flick method (max. response time = 8 sec) were approx. 70 mg/kg for the aged mice and 15 mg/kg for the mature adults. One hour after injecting /sup 3/H-morphine at doses of 30 and 100 mg/kg, 0.13 and 0.14% of the doses appeared in brains of aged and mature adult mice, respectively. Regional distribution of the morphine was the same for both age groups. Expressed as percent of total brain morphine, it was as follows: cortex, 30%; midbrain, 18%; cerebellum, 17%; medulla, 12%; pons, 9%; striatum, 8% and periaqueductal gray, 6%. Expressed as g morphine/g tissue for the 2 doses, the distribution was; periaqueductal gray, 30 and 80; striatum, 9 and 34; medulla, 6 and 20 pons; 5 and 19; cerebellum, 4 and 13; midbrain 2.5 and 8.5 and cortex, 2 and 8. These results suggest that the differences in response to morphine by the two age groups were due to age-related differences in opioid receptor populations and/or affinities.

  12. Emotion processing in the aging brain is modulated by semantic elaboration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritchey, Maureen; Bessette-Symons, Brandy; Hayes, Scott M; Cabeza, Roberto

    2011-03-01

    The neural correlates of emotion processing have been shown to vary with age: older adults (OAs) exhibit increased frontal activations and, under some circumstances, decreased amygdala activations relative to young adults (YAs) during emotion processing. Some of these differences are additionally modulated by valence, with age-related biases toward positive versus negative stimuli, and are thought to depend on OAs' capacity for controlled elaboration. However, the role of semantic elaboration in mediating valence effects in the aging brain has not yet been explicitly tested. In the present study, YAs and OAs were scanned while they viewed negative, neutral, and positive pictures during either a deep, elaborative task or a shallow, perceptual task. fMRI results reveal that emotion-related activity in the amygdala is preserved in aging and insensitive to elaboration demands. This study provides novel evidence that differences in valence processing are modulated by elaboration: relative to YAs, OAs show enhanced activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and ventrolateral PFC in response to positive versus negative stimuli, but only during elaborative processing. These positive valence effects are predicted by individual differences in executive function in OAs for the deep but not shallow task. Finally, psychophysiological interaction analyses reveal age effects on valence-dependent functional connectivity between medial PFC and ventral striatum, as well as age and task effects on medial PFC-retrosplenial cortex interactions. Altogether, these findings provide support for the hypothesis that valence shifts in the aging brain are mediated by controlled processes such as semantic elaboration, self-referential processing, and emotion regulation.

  13. Emotion processing in the aging brain is modulated by semantic elaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritchey, Maureen; Bessette-Symons, Brandy; Hayes, Scott M.; Cabeza, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    The neural correlates of emotion processing have been shown to vary with age: older adults (OAs) exhibit increased frontal activations and, under some circumstances, decreased amygdala activations relative to young adults (YAs) during emotion processing. Some of these differences are additionally modulated by valence, with age-related biases toward positive versus negative stimuli, and are thought to depend on OAs’ capacity for controlled elaboration. However, the role of semantic elaboration in mediating valence effects in the aging brain has not yet been explicitly tested. In the present study, YAs and OAs were scanned while they viewed negative, neutral, and positive pictures during either a deep, elaborative task or a shallow, perceptual task. FMRI results reveal that emotion-related activity in the amygdala is preserved in aging and insensitive to elaboration demands. This study provides novel evidence that differences in valence processing are modulated by elaboration: relative to YAs, OAs show enhanced activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and ventrolateral PFC in response to positive versus negative stimuli, but only during elaborative processing. These positive valence effects are predicted by individual differences in executive function in OAs for the deep but not shallow task. Finally, psychophysiological interaction analyses reveal age effects on valence-dependent functional connectivity between medial PFC and ventral striatum, as well as age and task effects on medial PFC-retrosplenial cortex interactions. Altogether, these findings provide support for the hypothesis that valence shifts in the aging brain are mediated by controlled processes such as semantic elaboration, self-referential processing, and emotion regulation. PMID:20869375

  14. Changes in brain network efficiency and working memory performance in aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L Stanley

    Full Text Available Working memory is a complex psychological construct referring to the temporary storage and active processing of information. We used functional connectivity brain network metrics quantifying local and global efficiency of information transfer for predicting individual variability in working memory performance on an n-back task in both young (n = 14 and older (n = 15 adults. Individual differences in both local and global efficiency during the working memory task were significant predictors of working memory performance in addition to age (and an interaction between age and global efficiency. Decreases in local efficiency during the working memory task were associated with better working memory performance in both age cohorts. In contrast, increases in global efficiency were associated with much better working performance for young participants; however, increases in global efficiency were associated with a slight decrease in working memory performance for older participants. Individual differences in local and global efficiency during resting-state sessions were not significant predictors of working memory performance. Significant group whole-brain functional network decreases in local efficiency also were observed during the working memory task compared to rest, whereas no significant differences were observed in network global efficiency. These results are discussed in relation to recently developed models of age-related differences in working memory.

  15. Changes in brain network efficiency and working memory performance in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Matthew L; Simpson, Sean L; Dagenbach, Dale; Lyday, Robert G; Burdette, Jonathan H; Laurienti, Paul J

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is a complex psychological construct referring to the temporary storage and active processing of information. We used functional connectivity brain network metrics quantifying local and global efficiency of information transfer for predicting individual variability in working memory performance on an n-back task in both young (n = 14) and older (n = 15) adults. Individual differences in both local and global efficiency during the working memory task were significant predictors of working memory performance in addition to age (and an interaction between age and global efficiency). Decreases in local efficiency during the working memory task were associated with better working memory performance in both age cohorts. In contrast, increases in global efficiency were associated with much better working performance for young participants; however, increases in global efficiency were associated with a slight decrease in working memory performance for older participants. Individual differences in local and global efficiency during resting-state sessions were not significant predictors of working memory performance. Significant group whole-brain functional network decreases in local efficiency also were observed during the working memory task compared to rest, whereas no significant differences were observed in network global efficiency. These results are discussed in relation to recently developed models of age-related differences in working memory.

  16. Early complement activation increases in the brain in some aged normal subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeffler, David A; Camp, Dianne M; Schonberger, Michael B; Singer, Daniel J; LeWitt, Peter A

    2004-09-01

    Complement activation is increased in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may contribute to the development and progression of this disorder. To compare early complement activation between normal and AD brain specimens, C4d and iC3b concentrations were measured in hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, temporal cortex, parietal cortex, and cerebellum from aged normal and AD subjects n=10-14 for both), and in hippocampus and entorhinal cortex from younger normal subjects (n=5-6). C4d and iC3b levels increased 2.3- to 4.6-fold in AD versus aged normal specimens (all P hippocampus or entorhinal cortex. However, the concentrations of these proteins were markedly increased in several aged normal specimens. Normal subject age was moderately associated with both C4d (r=0.49) and iC3b (r=0.53) concentrations in the hippocampus. Increased brain complement activation in some elderly individuals may promote the subsequent development of AD.

  17. Medial temporal lobe contributions to intra-item associative recognition memory in the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, Marshall Axel; Tu, Sicong; Hornberger, Michael; Hodges, John Russel; Piguet, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Aging is associated with a decline in episodic memory function. This is accompanied by degradation of and functional changes in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) which subserves mnemonic processing. To date no study has investigated age-related functional change in MTL substructures during specific episodic memory processes such as intra-item associative memory. The aim of this study was to characterize age-related change in the neural correlates of intra-item associative memory processing. Sixteen young and 10 older subjects participated in a compound word intra-item associative memory task comprising a measure of associative recognition memory and a measure of recognition memory. There was no difference in performance between groups on the associative memory measure but each group recruited different MTL regions while performing the task. The young group recruited the left anterior hippocampus and posterior parahippocampal gyrus whereas the older participants recruited the hippocampus bilaterally. In contrast, recognition memory was significantly worse in the older subjects. The left anterior hippocampus was recruited in the young group during successful recognition memory whereas the older group recruited a more posterior region of the left hippocampus and showed a more bilateral activation of frontal brain regions than was observed in the young group. Our results suggest a reorganization of the neural correlates of intra-item associative memory in the aging brain.

  18. Impaired glucose tolerance in midlife and longitudinal changes in brain function during aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thambisetty, Madhav; Beason-Held, Lori L; An, Yang; Kraut, Michael; Metter, Jeffrey; Egan, Josephine; Ferrucci, Luigi; O'Brien, Richard; Resnick, Susan M

    2013-10-01

    We investigated whether individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in midlife subsequently show regionally specific longitudinal changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) relative to those with normal glucose tolerance (NGT). Sixty-four cognitively normal participants in the neuroimaging substudy of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging underwent serial (15)O-water positron emission tomography scans (age at first scan, 69.6 ± 7.5 years) and oral glucose tolerance tests 12 years earlier (age at first oral glucose tolerance test, 57.2 ± 11.1 years). Using voxel-based analysis, we compared changes in rCBF over an 8-year period between 15 participants with IGT in midlife and 49 with NGT. Significant differences were observed in longitudinal change in rCBF between the IGT and NGT groups. The predominant pattern was greater rCBF decline in the IGT group in the frontal, parietal, and temporal cortices. Some brain regions in the frontal and temporal cortices also showed greater longitudinal increments in rCBF in the IGT group. Our findings suggest that IGT in midlife is associated with subsequent longitudinal changes in brain function during aging even in cognitively normal older individuals.

  19. Oxidative Stress Is a Central Target for Physical Exercise Neuroprotection Against Pathological Brain Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Mesa, Yoelvis; Colie, Sandra; Corpas, Rubén; Cristòfol, Rosa; Comellas, Francesc; Nebreda, Angel R; Giménez-Llort, Lydia; Sanfeliu, Coral

    2016-01-01

    Physical exercise is suggested for preventing or delaying senescence and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have examined its therapeutic value in the advanced stage of AD-like pathology in 3xTg-AD female mice through voluntary wheel running from 12 to 15 months of age. Mice submitted to exercise showed improved body fitness, immunorejuvenation, improvement of behavior and cognition, and reduced amyloid and tau pathology. Brain tissue analysis of aged 3xTg-AD mice showed high levels of oxidative damage. However, this damage was decreased by physical exercise through regulation of redox homeostasis. Network analyses showed that oxidative stress was a central event, which correlated with AD-like pathology and the AD-related behaviors of anxiety, apathy, and cognitive loss. This study corroborates the importance of redox mechanisms in the neuroprotective effect of physical exercise, and supports the theory of the crucial role of oxidative stress in the switch from normal brain aging to pathological aging and AD.

  20. Distinguishing rhythmic from non-rhythmic brain activity during rest in healthy neurocognitive aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caplan, Jeremy B; Bottomley, Monica; Kang, Pardeep; Dixon, Roger A

    2015-05-15

    Rhythmic brain activity at low frequencies (healthy neurocognitive aging are mixed. Here we address two reasons conventional spectral analyses may have led to inconsistent results. First, spectral-power measures are compared to a baseline condition; when resting activity is the signal of interest, it is unclear what the baseline should be. Second, conventional methods do not clearly differentiate power due to rhythmic versus non-rhythmic activity. The Better OSCillation detection method (BOSC; Caplan et al., 2001; Whitten et al., 2011) avoids these problems by using the signal's own spectral characteristics as a reference to detect elevations in power lasting a few cycles. We recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) signal during rest, alternating eyes open and closed, in healthy younger (18-25 years) and older (60-74 years) participants. Topographic plots suggested the conventional and BOSC analyses measured different sources of activity, particularly at frequencies, like delta (1-4Hz), at which rhythms are sporadic; topographies were more similar in the 8-12Hz alpha band. There was little theta-band activity meeting the BOSC method's criteria, suggesting prior findings of theta power in healthy aging may reflect non-rhythmic signal. In contrast, delta oscillations were present at higher levels than theta in both age groups. In summary, applying strict and standardized criteria for rhythmicity, slow rhythms appear present in the resting brain at delta and alpha, but not theta frequencies, and appear unchanged in healthy aging.

  1. Longitudinal Volumetric Brain Changes in Autism Spectrum Disorder Ages 6–35 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Nicholas; Travers, Brittany G.; Bigler, Erin D.; Prigge, Molly B.D.; Froehlich, Alyson L.; Nielsen, Jared A.; Cariello, Annahir N.; Zielinski, Brandon A.; Anderson, Jeffrey S.; Fletcher, P. Thomas; Alexander, Andrew A.; Lainhart, Janet E.

    2014-01-01

    LAY ABSTRACT Since the impairments associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to persist or worsen from childhood into adulthood, it is of critical importance to examine how the brain develops over this growth epoch. We report initial findings on whole and regional longitudinal brain development in 100 male participants with ASD (226 high-quality MRI scans) compared to 56 typically developing male controls (TDCs) (117 high-quality scans) from childhood into adulthood, for a total of 156 participants scanned over an eight-year period. We provide volumetric growth curves for the entire brain, total gray matter (GM), frontal GM, temporal GM, parietal GM, occipital GM, total cortical white matter (WM), corpus callosum, caudate, thalamus, total cerebellum, and total ventricles. Mean volume of cortical WM was reduced significantly. Decreases in regional mean volumes in the ASD sample were most often due to decreases during late adolescence and adulthood. The growth curve of whole-brain volume showed increased volumes in young children with autism and subsequently decreased during adolescence to meet the TDC curve between 10 and 15 years of age. The volume of many structures continued to decline atypically into adulthood in the ASD sample. The data suggest that ASD is a dynamic disorder with complex changes in whole and regional brain volumes that change over time from childhood into adulthood. SCIENTIFIC ABSTRACT Since the impairments associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to persist or worsen from childhood into adulthood, it is of critical importance to examine how the brain develops over this growth epoch. We report initial findings on whole and regional longitudinal brain development in 100 male participants with ASD (226 high-quality MRI scans; mean inter-scan interval 2.7 years) compared to 56 typically developing male controls (TDCs) (117 high-quality scans; mean inter-scan interval 2.6 years) from childhood into adulthood, for a total of 156

  2. Synaptic genes are extensively downregulated across multiple brain regions in normal human aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berchtold, Nicole C; Coleman, Paul D; Cribbs, David H; Rogers, Joseph; Gillen, Daniel L; Cotman, Carl W

    2013-06-01

    Synapses are essential for transmitting, processing, and storing information, all of which decline in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Because synapse loss only partially accounts for the cognitive declines seen in aging and AD, we hypothesized that existing synapses might undergo molecular changes that reduce their functional capacity. Microarrays were used to evaluate expression profiles of 340 synaptic genes in aging (20-99 years) and AD across 4 brain regions from 81 cases. The analysis revealed an unexpectedly large number of significant expression changes in synapse-related genes in aging, with many undergoing progressive downregulation across aging and AD. Functional classification of the genes showing altered expression revealed that multiple aspects of synaptic function are affected, notably synaptic vesicle trafficking and release, neurotransmitter receptors and receptor trafficking, postsynaptic density scaffolding, cell adhesion regulating synaptic stability, and neuromodulatory systems. The widespread declines in synaptic gene expression in normal aging suggests that function of existing synapses might be impaired, and that a common set of synaptic genes are vulnerable to change in aging and AD.

  3. Age dependent accumulation of N-acyl-ethanolamine phospholipids in ischemic rat brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moesgaard, B.; Petersen, G.; Hansen, Harald S.;

    2000-01-01

    of various age (1, 6, 12, 19, 30, and ~70 days) by the use of P NMR spectroscopy of lipid extracts. This ability to accumulate NAPE was compared with the activity of N-acyltransferase and of NAPE-hydrolyzing phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) in brain microsomes. These two enzymes are involved in the formation...... and degradation of NAPE, respectively. The results showed that 1) the ability to accumulate NAPE during post-decapitative ischemia is especially high in the youngest rats and is markedly reduced in older brains [in 1-day-old rat brains NAPE accumulated to 1.5% of total phospholipids, while in 30-day-old rat......N-acyl-ethanolamine phospholipids (NAPE) can be formed as a stress response during neuronal injury, and they are precursors for N-acyl- ethanolamines (NAE), some of which are endocannabinoids. The levels of NAPE accumulated during post-decapitative ischemia (6 h at 37°C) were studied in rat brains...

  4. Cognitive activity, cognitive function, and brain diffusion characteristics in old age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arfanakis, Konstantinos; Wilson, Robert S; Barth, Christopher M; Capuano, Ana W; Vasireddi, Anil; Zhang, Shengwei; Fleischman, Debra A; Bennett, David A

    2016-06-01

    The objective of this work was to test the hypotheses that a) more frequent cognitive activity in late life is associated with higher brain diffusion anisotropy and lower trace of the diffusion tensor, and b) brain diffusion characteristics partially mediate the association of late life cognitive activity with cognition. As part of a longitudinal cohort study, 379 older people without dementia rated their frequency of participation in cognitive activities, completed a battery of cognitive function tests, and underwent diffusion tensor imaging. We used tract-based spatial statistics to test the association between late life cognitive activity and brain diffusion characteristics. Clusters with statistically significant findings defined regions of interest in which we tested the hypothesis that diffusion characteristics partially mediate the association of late life cognitive activity with cognition. More frequent cognitive activity in late life was associated with higher level of global cognition after adjustment for age, sex, education, and indicators of early life cognitive enrichment (p = 0.001). More frequent cognitive activity was also related to higher fractional anisotropy in the left superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi, left fornix, and corpus callosum, and lower trace in the thalamus (p cognitive activity with cognition was reduced by as much as 26 %. These findings suggest that the association of late life cognitive activity with cognition may be partially mediated by brain diffusion characteristics.

  5. Age-related similarities and differences in brain activity underlying reversal learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaoru eNashiro

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The ability to update associative memory is an important aspect of episodic memory and a critical skill for social adaptation. Previous research with younger adults suggests that emotional arousal alters brain mechanisms underlying memory updating; however, it is unclear whether this applies to older adults. Given that the ability to update associative information declines with age, it is important to understand how emotion modulates the brain processes underlying memory updating in older adults. The current study investigated this question using reversal learning tasks, where younger and older participants (age ranges 19-35 and 61-78 respectively learn a stimulus–outcome association and then update their response when contingencies change. We found that younger and older adults showed similar patterns of activation in the frontopolar OFC and the amygdala during emotional reversal learning. In contrast, when reversal learning did not involve emotion, older adults showed greater parietal cortex activity than did younger adults. Thus, younger and older adults show more similarities in brain activity during memory updating involving emotional stimuli than during memory updating not involving emotional stimuli.

  6. Age-related changes in brain hemodynamics; A calibrated MRI study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Vis, J B; Hendrikse, J; Bhogal, A;

    2015-01-01

    calculated. RESULTS: Whole brain CBF was 49 ± 14 and 40 ± 9 ml/100 g/min in young and older subjects respectively (P Age-related differences in CBF decreased to the point of nonsignificance (B=-4.1, SE=3.8) when EtCO2 was added as a confounder. BOLD CVR was lower in the whole brain, in the frontal......, in the temporal, and in the occipital of the older subjects (Pbrain OEF was 43 ± 8% in the young and 39 ± 6% in the older subjects (P = 0.066). Whole brain CMRO2 was 181 ± 60 and 133 ± 43 µmol/100 g/min in young and older subjects, respectively (PAge-related differences in CBF......INTRODUCTION: Blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) magnetic resonance imaging signal changes in response to stimuli have been used to evaluate age-related changes in neuronal activity. Contradictory results from these types of experiments have been attributed to differences in cerebral blood...

  7. Cerebral hemodynamics of the aging brain: risk of Alzheimer disease and benefit of aerobic exercise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi eTarumi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer disease (AD and cerebrovascular disease often coexist with advanced age. Mounting evidence indicates that the presence of vascular disease and its risk factors increase the risk of AD, suggesting a potential overlap of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. In particular, atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction, and stiffening of central elastic arteries have been shown to associate with AD. Currently, there are no effective treatments for the cure and prevention of AD. Vascular risk factors are modifiable via either pharmacological or lifestyle intervention. In this regard, habitual aerobic exercise is increasingly recognized for its benefits on brain structure and cognitive function. Considering the well-established benefits of regular aerobic exercise on vascular health, exercise-related improvements in brain structure and cognitive function may be mediated by vascular adaptations. In this review, we will present the current evidence for the physiological mechanisms by which vascular health alters the structural and functional integrity of the aging brain and how improvements in vascular health, via regular aerobic exercise, potentially benefits cognitive function.

  8. Cerebral hemodynamics of the aging brain: risk of Alzheimer disease and benefit of aerobic exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarumi, Takashi; Zhang, Rong

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) and cerebrovascular disease often coexist with advanced age. Mounting evidence indicates that the presence of vascular disease and its risk factors increase the risk of AD, suggesting a potential overlap of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. In particular, atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction, and stiffening of central elastic arteries have been shown to associate with AD. Currently, there are no effective treatments for the cure and prevention of AD. Vascular risk factors are modifiable via either pharmacological or lifestyle intervention. In this regard, habitual aerobic exercise is increasingly recognized for its benefits on brain structure and cognitive function. Considering the well-established benefits of regular aerobic exercise on vascular health, exercise-related improvements in brain structure and cognitive function may be mediated by vascular adaptations. In this review, we will present the current evidence for the physiological mechanisms by which vascular health alters the structural and functional integrity of the aging brain and how improvements in vascular health, via regular aerobic exercise, potentially benefits cognitive function.

  9. Age-related characteristics of brain development in children living in the north.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soroko, S I; Burykh, E A; Sidorenko, G V

    2006-09-01

    The morphofunctional age-related development of the brain was studied in schoolchildren living in the difficult climatological-geographic and socioeconomic conditions of the north (Arkhangel'sk region). Of the 62 students in country middle schools, EEG amplitude-frequency, time, and spatial measures corresponded to age norms (European norms) in only 10 cases (16%). A further 26 children (53%) showed minor abnormalities in the form of an inadequate degree of organization of the temporospatial EEG pattern, mainly in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, with increases in the levels of the theta and delta rhythms, and the absence of any marked "functional nucleus" in the alpha rhythm. In the remaining 14 children (29%), EEG measures showed more marked delays in mental development (DMD), which were combined with learning difficulties and abnormal behavior. The retardation in the morphofunctional development of the brain in northern children averaged 1.5-2 years, which coincides with delays in hormonal and physical development described by other authors.

  10. Brain perfusion SPECT in the mouse: normal pattern according to gender and age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostolova, Ivayla; Wunder, Andreas; Dirnagl, Ulrich; Michel, Roger; Stemmer, Nina; Lukas, Mathias; Derlin, Thorsten; Gregor-Mamoudou, Betina; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Brenner, Winfried; Buchert, Ralph

    2012-12-01

    Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) is a useful surrogate marker of neuronal activity and a parameter of primary interest in the diagnosis of many diseases. The increasing use of mouse models spawns the demand for in vivo measurement of rCBF in the mouse. Small animal SPECT provides excellent spatial resolution at adequate sensitivity and is therefore a promising tool for imaging the mouse brain. This study evaluates the feasibility of mouse brain perfusion SPECT and assesses the regional pattern of normal Tc-99m-HMPAO uptake and the impact of age and gender. Whole-brain kinetics was compared between Tc-99m-HMPAO and Tc-99m-ECD using rapid dynamic planar scans in 10 mice. Assessment of the regional uptake pattern was restricted to the more suitable tracer, HMPAO. Two HMPAO SPECTs were performed in 18 juvenile mice aged 7.5 ± 1.5weeks, and in the same animals at young adulthood, 19.1 ± 4.0 weeks (nanoSPECT/CTplus, general purpose mouse apertures: 1.2kcps/MBq, 0.7mm FWHM). The 3-D MRI Digital Atlas Database of an adult C57BL/6J mouse brain was used for region-of-interest (ROI) analysis. SPECT images were stereotactically normalized using SPM8 and a custom made, left-right symmetric HMPAO template in atlas space. For testing lateral asymmetry, each SPECT was left-right flipped prior to stereotactical normalization. Flipped and unflipped SPECTs were compared by paired testing. Peak brain uptake was similar for ECD and HMPAO: 1.8 ± 0.2 and 2.1 ± 0.6 %ID (p=0.357). Washout after the peak was much faster for ECD than for HMPAO: 24 ± 7min vs. 4.6 ± 1.7h (p=0.001). The general linear model for repeated measures with gender as an intersubject factor revealed an increase in relative HMPAO uptake with age in the neocortex (p=0.018) and the hippocampus (p=0.012). A decrease was detected in the midbrain (p=0.025). Lateral asymmetry, with HMPAO uptake larger in the left hemisphere, was detected primarily in the neocortex, both at juvenile age (asymmetry index AI=2.7 ± 1

  11. The Associative Memory Deficit in Aging Is Related to Reduced Selectivity of Brain Activity during Encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saverino, Cristina; Fatima, Zainab; Sarraf, Saman; Oder, Anita; Strother, Stephen C; Grady, Cheryl L

    2016-09-01

    Human aging is characterized by reductions in the ability to remember associations between items, despite intact memory for single items. Older adults also show less selectivity in task-related brain activity, such that patterns of activation become less distinct across multiple experimental tasks. This reduced selectivity or dedifferentiation has been found for episodic memory, which is often reduced in older adults, but not for semantic memory, which is maintained with age. We used fMRI to investigate whether there is a specific reduction in selectivity of brain activity during associative encoding in older adults, but not during item encoding, and whether this reduction predicts associative memory performance. Healthy young and older adults were scanned while performing an incidental encoding task for pictures of objects and houses under item or associative instructions. An old/new recognition test was administered outside the scanner. We used agnostic canonical variates analysis and split-half resampling to detect whole-brain patterns of activation that predicted item versus associative encoding for stimuli that were later correctly recognized. Older adults had poorer memory for associations than did younger adults, whereas item memory was comparable across groups. Associative encoding trials, but not item encoding trials, were predicted less successfully in older compared with young adults, indicating less distinct patterns of associative-related activity in the older group. Importantly, higher probability of predicting associative encoding trials was related to better associative memory after accounting for age and performance on a battery of neuropsychological tests. These results provide evidence that neural distinctiveness at encoding supports associative memory and that a specific reduction of selectivity in neural recruitment underlies age differences in associative memory.

  12. Brain lesions and IQ: recovery versus decline depends on age of onset.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duval, Julie; Braun, Claude M J; Montour-Proulx, Isabelle; Daigneault, Sylvie; Rouleau, Isabelle; Bégin, Jean

    2008-06-01

    A growing literature suggests that early lesions are associated with poorer IQ outcome. Those studies covered a restricted age range in pediatric populations only and did not control for important moderator variables. The present investigation studied IQ change in brain-lesioned children and adults (age 0 to 84 years). Altogether, 725 cases with a documented unilateral focal lesion were gathered from hospital charts and from published cases in the literature, including 240 with repeated IQ testing. Multiple regression analyses isolated the contribution of age at lesion onset to IQ change. Important mediator variables included were lesion side, site, volume, etiology, and so on. An early lesion was significantly associated with poorer postlesion IQ in time and with decline of IQ in time. Later onset lesions were associated with better postlesion IQ and recovery in time. The so-called Kennard principle is refuted, with regard to IQ.

  13. Social Determinants, Race, and Brain Health Outcomes: Findings from the Chicago Health and Aging Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggarwal, Neelum T; Everson-Rose, Susan A; Evans, Denis A

    2015-01-01

    The broad spectrum of economic and cultural diversity in the U.S. population correlates with and affects the study of behavioral aspects of health. The purpose of this article is to provide a selective overview of research findings from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP), which covers a socio-demographically diverse population in Chicago, with a focus on role-related psychosocial factors and observed racial/ethnic differences in aging outcomes. CHAP is a longitudinal, epidemiological study of common chronic conditions of aging with an emphasis on medical, psychosocial, and environmental risk factors for the decline in cognitive function across the older adult lifespan. We briefly summarize the study design and methods used in the CHAP study and characterize the study population and describe the psychosocial data, noting black-white associations as they relate to three common brain health outcomes: cognitive function and Alzheimer's Disease, stroke, and subclinical vascular disease as noted on neuroimaging.

  14. The effects of aging on the brain activation pattern during a speech perception task: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manan, Hanani Abdul; Franz, Elizabeth A; Yusoff, Ahmad Nazlim; Mukari, Siti Zamratol-Mai Sarah

    2015-02-01

    In the present study, brain activation associated with speech perception processing was examined across four groups of adult participants with age ranges between 20 and 65 years, using functional MRI (fMRI). Cognitive performance demonstrates that performance accuracy declines with age. fMRI results reveal that all four groups of participants activated the same brain areas. The same brain activation pattern was found in all activated areas (except for the right superior temporal gyrus and right middle temporal gyrus); brain activity was increased from group 1 (20-29 years) to group 2 (30-39 years). However, it decreased in group 3 (40-49 years) with further decreases in group 4 participants (50-65 years). Result also reveals that three brain areas (superior temporal gyrus, Heschl's gyrus and cerebellum) showed changes in brain laterality in the older participants, akin to a shift from left-lateralized to right-lateralized activity. The onset of this change was different across brain areas. Based on these findings we suggest that, whereas all four groups of participants used the same areas in processing, the engagement and recruitment of those areas differ with age as the brain grows older. Findings are discussed in the context of corroborating evidence of neural changes with age.

  15. Age-Related Differences in the Brain Areas outside the Classical Language Areas among Adults Using Category Decision Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yong Won; Song, Hui-Jin; Lee, Jae Jun; Lee, Joo Hwa; Lee, Hui Joong; Yi, Sang Doe; Chang, Hyuk Won; Berl, Madison M.; Gaillard, William D.; Chang, Yongmin

    2012-01-01

    Older adults perform much like younger adults on language. This similar level of performance, however, may come about through different underlying brain processes. In the present study, we evaluated age-related differences in the brain areas outside the typical language areas among adults using a category decision task. Our results showed that…

  16. Oxidative Stress and Protein Quality Control Systems in the Aged Canine Brain as a Model for Human Neurodegenerative Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariarita Romanucci

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aged dogs are considered the most suitable spontaneous animal model for studying normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Elderly canines naturally develop cognitive dysfunction and neuropathological hallmarks similar to those seen in humans, especially Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology. Pet dogs also share similar living conditions and diets to humans. Oxidative damage accumulates in the canine brain during aging, making dogs a valid model for translational antioxidant treatment/prevention studies. Evidence suggests the presence of detective protein quality control systems, involving ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS and Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs, in the aged canine brain. Further studies on the canine model are needed to clarify the role of age-related changes in UPS activity and HSP expression in neurodegeneration in order to design novel treatment strategies, such as HSP-based therapies, aimed at improving chaperone defences against proteotoxic stress affecting brain during aging.

  17. The Walnuts and Healthy Aging Study (WAHA): Protocol for a Nutritional Intervention Trial with Walnuts on Brain Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaram, Sujatha; Valls-Pedret, Cinta; Cofán, Montserrat; Sabaté, Joan; Serra-Mir, Mercè; Pérez-Heras, Ana M.; Arechiga, Adam; Casaroli-Marano, Ricardo P.; Alforja, Socorro; Sala-Vila, Aleix; Doménech, Mónica; Roth, Irene; Freitas-Simoes, Tania M.; Calvo, Carlos; López-Illamola, Anna; Haddad, Ella; Bitok, Edward; Kazzi, Natalie; Huey, Lynnley; Fan, Joseph; Ros, Emilio

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: An unwanted consequence of population aging is the growing number of elderly at risk of neurodegenerative disorders, including dementia and macular degeneration. As nutritional and behavioral changes can delay disease progression, we designed the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) study, a two-center, randomized, 2-year clinical trial conducted in free-living, cognitively healthy elderly men and women. Our interest in exploring the role of walnuts in maintaining cognitive and retinal health is based on extensive evidence supporting their cardio-protective and vascular health effects, which are linked to bioactive components, such as n-3 fatty acids and polyphenols. Methods: The primary aim of WAHA is to examine the effects of ingesting walnuts daily for 2 years on cognitive function and retinal health, assessed with a battery of neuropsychological tests and optical coherence tomography, respectively. All participants followed their habitual diet, adding walnuts at 15% of energy (≈30–60 g/day) (walnut group) or abstaining from walnuts (control group). Secondary outcomes include changes in adiposity, blood pressure, and serum and urinary biomarkers in all participants and brain magnetic resonance imaging in a subset. Results: From May 2012 to May 2014, 708 participants (mean age 69 years, 68% women) were randomized. The study ended in May 2016 with a 90% retention rate. Discussion: The results of WAHA might provide high-level evidence of the benefit of regular walnut consumption in delaying the onset of age-related cognitive impairment and retinal pathology. The findings should translate into public health policy and sound recommendations to the general population (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01634841). PMID:28119602

  18. The effect of body mass index on global brain volume in middle-aged adults: a cross sectional study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trivedi Mehul A

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Obesity causes or exacerbates a host of medical conditions, including cardiovascular, pulmonary, and endocrine diseases. Recently obesity in elderly women was associated with greater risk of dementia, white matter ischemic changes, and greater brain atrophy. The purpose of this study was to determine whether body type affects global brain volume, a marker of atrophy, in middle-aged men and women. Methods T1-weighted 3D volumetric magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess global brain volume for 114 individuals 40 to 66 years of age (average = 54.2 years; standard deviation = 6.6 years; 43 men and 71 women. Total cerebrospinal fluid and brain volumes were obtained with an automated tissue segmentation algorithm. A regression model was used to determine the effect of age, body mass index (BMI, and other cardiovascular risk factors on brain volume and cognition. Results Age and BMI were each associated with decreased brain volume. BMI did not predict cognition in this sample; however elevated diastolic blood pressure was associated with poorer episodic learning performance. Conclusion These findings suggest that middle-aged obese adults may already be experiencing differentially greater brain atrophy, and may potentially be at greater risk for future cognitive decline.

  19. Identification of chemicals that mimic transcriptional changes associated with autism, brain aging and neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Brandon L; Simon, Jeremy M; McCoy, Eric S; Salazar, Gabriela; Fragola, Giulia; Zylka, Mark J

    2016-03-31

    Environmental factors, including pesticides, have been linked to autism and neurodegeneration risk using retrospective epidemiological studies. Here we sought to prospectively identify chemicals that share transcriptomic signatures with neurological disorders, by exposing mouse cortical neuron-enriched cultures to hundreds of chemicals commonly found in the environment and on food. We find that rotenone, a pesticide associated with Parkinson's disease risk, and certain fungicides, including pyraclostrobin, trifloxystrobin, famoxadone and fenamidone, produce transcriptional changes in vitro that are similar to those seen in brain samples from humans with autism, advanced age and neurodegeneration (Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease). These chemicals stimulate free radical production and disrupt microtubules in neurons, effects that can be reduced by pretreating with a microtubule stabilizer, an antioxidant, or with sulforaphane. Our study provides an approach to prospectively identify environmental chemicals that transcriptionally mimic autism and other brain disorders.

  20. Interleukin-4 mediates the neuroprotective effects of rosiglitazone in the aged brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loane, David J; Deighan, Brian F; Clarke, Rachael M; Griffin, Rebecca J; Lynch, Aileen M; Lynch, Marina A

    2009-06-01

    Increased expression of proinflammatory cytokines, like interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), is a feature of the aged brain and it is generally accepted that the primary cell source of these cytokines is activated microglia. In hippocampus of aged rats, the increase in IL-1 beta is accompanied by microglial activation and impaired long-term potentiation (LTP). Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) possess anti-inflammatory properties that target microglia. In this study the PPAR gamma agonist, rosiglitazone, was orally administered to young and aged rats, and we report that the age-related increases in NO and IL-1 beta production were attenuated in hippocampus of rosiglitazone-treated aged rats and that this was associated with a restoration of LTP. In addition, treatment with rosiglitazone increased interleukin-4 (IL-4) mRNA and reversed the age-related decrease in hippocampal IL-4 concentration. Significantly, while rosiglitazone attenuated the LPS-induced increase in MHCII and IL-1 beta concentration in glia prepared from wildtype mice, it failed to exert an effect in glia prepared from IL-4(-/-) mice, thereby suggesting that the anti-inflammatory actions of rosiglitazone are mediated by its ability to increase IL-4 expression.

  1. DNA methylation levels of α-synuclein intron 1 in the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boni, Laura; Riedel, Linda; Schmitt, Ina; Kraus, Theo F J; Kaut, Oliver; Piston, Dominik; Akbarian, Schahram; Wüllner, Ullrich

    2015-12-01

    DNA methylation patterns change with age, and aging itself is a major confounding risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD). Duplication and triplication, that is, increased expression of the α-synuclein (SNCA) gene, cause familial PD, and demethylation of SNCA intron 1 has been shown to result in increased expression of SNCA. We thus hypothesized that age-related alterations of SNCA methylation might underly the increased susceptibility toward PD in later life. The present study sought to determine (1) whether alterations of SNCA intron 1 methylation occurred during aging, (2) whether the methylation pattern differed between men and women, and (3) whether purified neurons compared with non-neuronal cells exhibited different methylation patterns. The analysis of DNA from brain tissue and fluorescence activated cell sorting-sorted purified neurons of 41 individuals revealed only a minor increase of SNCA intron 1 DNA methylation levels in presumably healthy individuals during aging but no significant difference between men and women. Interestingly enough, methylation of SNCA intron 1 was higher in neurons compared with non-neuronal cells, although non-neuronal cells express lower levels of SNCA. Therefore, the normal pattern of SNCA methylation during aging should not result in increased expression of α-synuclein protein. It is thus likely that additional, yet not identified, mechanisms contribute to the tissue specificity of SNCA expression and the presumed dysregulation in PD.

  2. Age-related differences in the response of the brain to dietary melatonin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Arezoo; Sharman, Edward; Bondy, Stephen C

    2014-02-01

    The aged brain is prone to excessive levels of immune activity, not initiated by an acute response to an extrinsic agent. While dietary melatonin is reported to attenuate the extent of expression of proinflammatory genes, little is known about the extent to which these changes can be translated into altered levels of corresponding proteins. The baseline levels of the proinflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 alpha, were greater in older (~29 months old) compared to younger (~7 months old) mouse brains. Acute (3 h) exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), but not inflammatory cytokines in the brain. The serum level of TNF-α was increased after LPS injection, indicating a systemic immune response to the bacterial cell wall component. Dietary melatonin (40 ppm for 9.3 weeks) did not prevent LPS-induced changes in younger animals but caused an increased systemic TNF-α response in older mice. Melatonin did reduce markers of carbonyl formation in brain proteins of young animals and nitrosylative damage to peptide-bound amino acid residues, in the brains of older animals. Acute LPS challenge did not significantly affect these oxidative markers. Thus, despite lack of clear evidence of attenuation of the NF-κB-cytokine inflammatory trajectory within the CNS by melatonin, this agent did show a protective effect against free radical-initiated injury to amino acid residues within proteins. The results illustrate that previously reported changes in gene expression following melatonin treatment need not be closely paralleled by corresponding changes in protein content.

  3. Brain morphometry shows effects of long-term musical practice in middle-aged keyboard players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gärtner, H; Minnerop, M; Pieperhoff, P; Schleicher, A; Zilles, K; Altenmüller, E; Amunts, K

    2013-01-01

    To what extent does musical practice change the structure of the brain? In order to understand how long-lasting musical training changes brain structure, 20 male right-handed, middle-aged professional musicians and 19 matched controls were investigated. Among the musicians, 13 were pianists or organists with intensive practice regimes. The others were either music teachers at schools or string instrumentalists, who had studied the piano at least as a subsidiary subject, and practiced less intensively. The study was based on T1-weighted MR images, which were analyzed using deformation-based morphometry. Cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps of cortical areas and subcortical nuclei as well as myeloarchitectonic maps of fiber tracts were used as regions of interest to compare volume differences in the brains of musicians and controls. In addition, maps of voxel-wise volume differences were computed and analyzed. Musicians showed a significantly better symmetric motor performance as well as a greater capability of controlling hand independence than controls. Structural MRI-data revealed significant volumetric differences between the brains of keyboard players, who practiced intensively and controls in right sensorimotor areas and the corticospinal tract as well as in the entorhinal cortex and the left superior parietal lobule. Moreover, they showed also larger volumes in a comparable set of regions than the less intensively practicing musicians. The structural changes in the sensory and motor systems correspond well to the behavioral results, and can be interpreted in terms of plasticity as a result of intensive motor training. Areas of the superior parietal lobule and the entorhinal cortex might be enlarged in musicians due to their special skills in sight-playing and memorizing of scores. In conclusion, intensive and specific musical training seems to have an impact on brain structure, not only during the sensitive period of childhood but throughout life.

  4. Brain morphometry shows effects of long-term musical practice in middle-aged keyboard players

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna eGärtner

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available To what extent does musical practice change the structure of the brain? In order to understand how long-lasting musical training changes brain structure, 20 male right-handed, middle-aged professional musicians and 19 matched controls were investigated. Among the musicians, 13 were pianists or organists with intensive practice regimes. The others were either music teachers at schools or string instrumentalists, who had studied the piano at least as a subsidiary subject, and practiced less intensively. The study was based on T1-weighted MR images, which were analyzed using Deformation Field Morphometry. Cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps of cortical areas and subcortical nuclei as well as myeloarchitectonic maps of fiber tracts were used as regions of interest to compare volume differences in the brains of musicians and controls. In addition, maps of voxel-wise volume differences were computed and analyzed.Musicians showed a significantly better symmetric motor performance as well as a greater capability of controlling hand independence than controls. Structural MRI-data revealed significant volumetric differences between the brains of keyboard players, who practiced intensively and controls in right sensorimotor areas and the corticospinal tract as well as in the entorhinal cortex and the left superior parietal lobule. Moreover, they showed also larger volumes in a comparable set of regions than the less intensively practicing musicians. The structural changes in the sensory and motor systems correspond well to the behavioral results, and can be interpreted in terms of plasticity as a result of intensive motor training. Areas of the superior parietal lobule and the entorhinal cortex might be enlarged in musicians due to their special skills in sight-playing and memorizing of scores. In conclusion, intensive and specific musical training seems to have an impact on brain structure, not only during the sensitive period of childhood but throughout

  5. Brain aging and Parkinson's disease: New therapeutic approaches using drug delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Nogales, C; Garbayo, E; Carmona-Abellán, M M; Luquin, M R; Blanco-Prieto, M J

    2016-02-01

    The etiology and pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) is unknown, aging being the strongest risk factor for brain degeneration. Understanding PD pathogenesis and how aging increases the risk of disease would aid the development of therapies able to slow or prevent the progression of this neurodegenerative disorder. In this review we provide an overview of the most promising therapeutic targets and strategies to delay the loss of dopaminergic neurons observed both in PD and aging. Among them, handling alpha-synuclein toxicity, enhancing proteasome and lysosome clearance, ameliorating mitochondrial disruptions and modifying the glial environment are so far the most promising candidates. These new and conventional drugs may present problems related to their labile nature and to the difficulties in reaching the brain. Thus, we highlight the latest types of drug delivery system (DDS)-based strategies for PD treatment, including DDS for local and systemic drug delivery. Finally, the ongoing challenges for the discovery of new targets and the opportunities for DDS-based therapies to improve and efficacious PD therapy will be discussed.

  6. Are there roles for brain cell senescence in aging and neurodegenerative disorders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Florence C C; Hutchison, Emmette R; Eitan, Erez; Mattson, Mark P

    2014-12-01

    The term cellular senescence was introduced more than five decades ago to describe the state of growth arrest observed in aging cells. Since this initial discovery, the phenotypes associated with cellular senescence have expanded beyond growth arrest to include alterations in cellular metabolism, secreted cytokines, epigenetic regulation and protein expression. Recently, senescence has been shown to play an important role in vivo not only in relation to aging, but also during embryonic development. Thus, cellular senescence serves different purposes and comprises a wide range of distinct phenotypes across multiple cell types. Whether all cell types, including post-mitotic neurons, are capable of entering into a senescent state remains unclear. In this review we examine recent data that suggest that cellular senescence plays a role in brain aging and, notably, may not be limited to glia but also neurons. We suggest that there is a high level of similarity between some of the pathological changes that occur in the brain in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and those phenotypes observed in cellular senescence, leading us to propose that neurons and glia can exhibit hallmarks of senescence previously documented in peripheral tissues.

  7. Gut instincts: microbiota as a key regulator of brain development, ageing and neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinan, Timothy G; Cryan, John F

    2017-01-15

    There is a growing realisation that the gut-brain axis and its regulation by the microbiota may play a key role in the biological and physiological basis of neurodevelopmental, age-related and neurodegenerative disorders. The routes of communication between the microbiota and brain are being unravelled and include the vagus nerve, gut hormone signalling, the immune system, tryptophan metabolism or by way of microbial metabolites such as short chain fatty acids. The importance of early life gut microbiota in shaping future health outcomes is also emerging. Disturbances of this composition by way of antibiotic exposure, lack of breastfeeding, infection, stress and the environmental influences coupled with the influence of host genetics can result in long-term effects on physiology and behaviour, at least in animal models. It is also worth noting that mode of delivery at birth influences microbiota composition with those born by Caesarean section having a distinctly different microbiota in early life to those born per vaginum. At the other extreme of life, ageing is associated with a narrowing in microbial diversity and healthy ageing correlates with a diverse microbiome. Recently, the gut microbiota has been implicated in a variety of conditions including depression, autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. There is still considerable debate as to whether or not the gut microbiota changes are core to the pathophysiology of such conditions or are merely epiphenomenal. It is plausible that such neuropsychiatric disorders might be treated in the future by targeting the microbiota either by microbiota transplantation, antibiotics or psychobiotics.

  8. Characterization of monoaminergic systems in brain regions of prematurely ageing mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De la Fuente, Monica; Hernanz, Angel; Medina, Sonia; Guayerbas, Noelia; Fernández, Beatriz; Viveros, Maria Paz

    2003-07-01

    We have previously shown that differences in life span among members of Swiss mouse populations appear to be related to their exploration of a T-maze, with a slow exploration ("slow mice") being linked to increased levels of emotionality/anxiety, an impaired immune function and a shorter life span. Thus, we proposed the slow mice as prematurely ageing mice (PAM). We have now compared the monoaminergic systems of the PAM and of the non-prematurely ageing mice (NPAM), in discrete brain regions. PAM had decreased noradrenaline (NA) levels in all the brain regions analysed, whereas the 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenyl glycol (MHPG)/NA ratios were not significantly modified. PAM also showed decreased serotonine (5-HT) levels in hypothalamus, striatum and midbrain, as well as increased 5-hydroxyindol-3-acetic acid (5-HIAA)/5-HT ratios in hypothalamus and hippocampus. The dopamine (DA) content was lower in PAM in most regions, whereas the 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC)/DA and homovanillic acid (HVA)/DA ratios were either increased or unchanged depending on the region analysed. In most cases, the differences between PAM and NPAM involved both sexes. One exception was the hypothalamus where the differences only affected the male mice. The neurochemical alterations found in PAM resemble some changes reported for aged animals and are related with their behavioural features.

  9. Functional brain connectivity and cognition: effects of adult age and task demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Ying-Hui; Chen, Nan-Kuei; Madden, David J

    2013-08-01

    Previous neuroimaging research has documented that patterns of intrinsic (resting state) functional connectivity (FC) among brain regions covary with individual measures of cognitive performance. Here, we examined the relation between intrinsic FC and a reaction time (RT) measure of performance, as a function of age group and task demands. We obtained filtered, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging data, and RT measures of visual search performance, from 21 younger adults (19-29 years old) and 21 healthy, older adults (60-87 years old). Age-related decline occurred in the connectivity strength in multiple brain regions, consistent with previous findings. Among 8 pairs of regions, across somatomotor, orbitofrontal, and subcortical networks, increasing FC was associated with faster responding (lower RT). Relative to younger adults, older adults exhibited a lower strength of this RT-connectivity relation and greater disruption of this relation by a salient but irrelevant display item (color singleton distractor). Age-related differences in the covariation of intrinsic FC and cognitive performance vary as a function of task demands.

  10. Effects of long-term mindfulness meditation on brain's white matter microstructure and its aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide eLaneri

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Although research on the effects of mindfulness meditation (MM is increasing, still very little has been done to address its influence on the white matter (WM of the brain. We hypothesized that the practice of MM might affect the WM microstructure adjacent to five brain regions of interest associated with mindfulness. Diffusion tensor imaging was employed on samples of meditators and non-meditators (n=64 in order to investigate the effects of MM on group difference and aging. Tract-Based Spatial Statistics was used to estimate the fractional anisotrophy of the WM connected to the thalamus, insula, amygdala, hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex. The subsequent generalized linear model analysis revealed group differences and a group-by-age interaction in all five selected regions. These data provide preliminary indications that the practice of MM might result in WM matter connectivity change and might provide evidence on its ability to help diminish age-related WM degeneration in key regions which participate in processes of mindfulness.

  11. Cognitive reserve is associated with the functional organization of brain in healthy aging: A MEG Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Eugenia eLopez

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The proportion of elderly people in the population has increased rapidly in the last century and consequently healthy aging is expected to become a critical area of research in neuroscience. Evidence reveals how healthy aging depends on three main behavioral factors: social lifestyle, cognitive activity and physical activity. In this study, we focused on the role of cognitive activity, concentrating specifically on educational and occupational attainment factors, which were considered two of the main pillars of cognitive reserve.21 subjects with similar rates of social lifestyle, physical and cognitive activity were selected from a sample of 55 healthy adults. These subjects were divided into two groups according to their level of cognitive reserve; one group comprised subjects with high cognitive reserve (9 members and the other contained those with low cognitive reserve (12 members. To evaluate the cortical brain connectivity network, all participants were recorded by Magnetoencephalography (MEG while they performed a memory task (modified version of the Sternberg´s Task. We then applied two algorithms (Phase Locking Value & Phase-Lag Index to study the dynamics of functional connectivity. In response to the same task, the subjects with lower cognitive reserve presented higher functional connectivity than those with higher cognitive reserve.These results may indicate that participants with low cognitive reserve needed a greater 'effort' than those with high cognitive reserve to achieve the same level of cognitive performance. Therefore, we conclude that cognitive reserve contributes to the modulation of the functional connectivity patterns of the aging brain.

  12. Combining an antioxidant-fortified diet with behavioral enrichment leads to cognitive improvement and reduced brain pathology in aging canines: strategies for healthy aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Elizabeth

    2007-10-01

    The number of elderly individuals in our population is rapidly rising and age-associated neurodegenerative disease is becoming more prevalent. Thus, identifying ways by which we can promote healthy aging are becoming more critical. Lifestyle factors, such as engaging in physical, intellectual, and social activities, are protective against dementia in aged individuals. Similarly, there is some evidence to suggest that antioxidants are beneficial. Observational studies in humans have been confirmed and extended in rodent model systems. We present additional evidence that, in a canine model of aging, combining an antioxidant-enriched diet and behavioral enrichment (including social, physical, and cognitive components) can lead to substantial improvements in cognition and reduced brain pathology. These results suggest that modifying lifestyle factors can have a beneficial impact on the aging process, even in aged individuals with existing cognitive decline and brain pathology.

  13. Temporal course of cerebrospinal fluid dynamics and amyloid accumulation in the aging rat brain from three to thirty months

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    Chiu Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Amyloid accumulation in the brain parenchyma is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD and is seen in normal aging. Alterations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF dynamics are also associated with normal aging and AD. This study analyzed CSF volume, production and turnover rate in relation to amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ accumulation in the aging rat brain. Methods Aging Fischer 344/Brown-Norway hybrid rats at 3, 12, 20, and 30 months were studied. CSF production was measured by ventriculo-cisternal perfusion with blue dextran in artificial CSF; CSF volume by MRI; and CSF turnover rate by dividing the CSF production rate by the volume of the CSF space. Aβ40 and Aβ42 concentrations in the cortex and hippocampus were measured by ELISA. Results There was a significant linear increase in total cranial CSF volume with age: 3-20 months (p p p p -1 to 12 months (11.30 day-1 and then a decrease to 20 months (10.23 day-1 and 30 months (6.62 day-1. Aβ40 and Aβ42 concentrations in brain increased from 3-30 months (p Conclusions In young rats there is no correlation between CSF turnover and Aβ brain concentrations. After 12 months, CSF turnover decreases as brain Aβ continues to accumulate. This decrease in CSF turnover rate may be one of several clearance pathway alterations that influence age-related accumulation of brain amyloid.

  14. Amyloid beta1–42 and the phoshorylated tau threonine 231 in brains of aged cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Darusman, Huda Shalahudin; Gjedde, Albert; Sajuthi, Dondin

    2014-01-01

    Pathological hallmarks indicative of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which are the plaques of amyloid beta1-42 and neurofibrillary tangles, were found in brain of aged cynomolgus monkey. The aim of this study was to investigate if aged monkeys exhibiting spatial memory impairment and levels of biomarkers...... angiopathy, and the tauopathy, to possible neurofibrillary tangles. Six aged monkeys were selected based on their spatial memory performance and profile of biomarkers of AD, divided equally to affected aged subject - with Memory-affected and low amyloid level, and aged with higher performance in memory...... and amyloid, as the age-matched subjects. Using immunohistochemistry, plaques of amyloid beta1-42 were observed in two out of three brains of aged subjects with memory impairment and biomarkers indicative of AD. The cerebral amyloid angiopathy was observed in both aged monkey groups, and unlike in the human...

  15. Acetylome regulation by sirtuins in the brain: from normal physiology to aging and pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michan, Shaday

    2013-01-01

    Our understanding of the magnitude and physiological significance of proteome lysine acetylation remained incipient for five decades since it was first described. State-of-the-art methodologies, ranging from functional genomics to large-scale proteomics, have recently uncovered that this modification is more broadly represented in proteins than previously recognized, thus constituting the "acetylome." At present, it is estimated that acetylome covers only one tenth of the proteome, however, due its potential significance in physiology is capturing great attention. The first components of the cellular machinery, which finely orchestrate acetylome homeostasis, were identified by the end of last century. Since then, the majority of our growing knowledge concerning the physiological relevance of proteome reversible acetylation comes from the study of sirtuins, a unique type of lysine deacetylase that uses NAD(+). Sirtuins participate in a variety of cellular processes, ranging from transcription, DNA repair, energy balance, mitochondrial biogenesis and cell division, to apoptosis, autophagy and aging. Within the brain, besides their widespread epigenetic effects of dynamically modifying histones, sirtuins also target a variety of non-histone proteins either commonly deregulated in pathologies, or that participate in normal cerebral functions. For example, they modulate critical elements of the circadian rhythms, neurogenesis, synapses, cognition, serotonin synthesis, myelination, and proteins involved in neuropathology. Acetylome dynamics, and its regulation by sirtuins, may also help to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying brain aging. This work reviews the pathways as orchestrated by the interplay between acetylome and sirtuins in the brain, from physiology involvement, to aging processes, and pathological settings.

  16. Neuroinflammation in the Aging Down Syndrome Brain; Lessons from Alzheimer's Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Wilcock, Donna M.

    2012-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is the most genetic cause of mental retardation and is caused by the triplication of chromosome 21. In addition to the disabilities caused early in life, DS is also noted as causing Alzheimer's-disease-like pathological changes in the brain, leading to 50–70% of DS patients showing dementia by 60–70 years of age. Inflammation is a complex process that has a key role to play in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. There is relatively little understood about inflammation ...

  17. No late effect of ionizing radiation on the aging-related oxidative changes in the mouse brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jang, Beom Su; Kim, Seol Wha; Jung, U Hee; Jo, Sung Kee [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Jeongeup (Korea, Republic of)

    2010-09-15

    Radiation-induced late injury to normal tissue is a primary area of radiation biology research. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether the late effect of the ionizing radiation appears as an age-related oxidative status in the brain. Three groups of 4-month old C57BL/6 mice that were exposed to {sup 137}Cs {gamma}-rays at a single dose (5 Gy) or fractionated doses (1 Gy x 5 times, or 0,2 Gy x 25 times) at 2 months old were investigated for the oxidative status of their brains with both young (2-month) and old (24-month) mice. A significant (pbrains compared with that of the young mice. Malondialdehyde (MDA) content was significantly (p<0.05) increased in the old mice brain. However, any significant difference in SOD activity and MDA contents of the irradiated brain was not observed compared to age-matched control group mice. SOD activity and MDA content were observed within good parameters of brain aging and there no late effects on the age-related oxidative level in the {gamma}-ray irradiated mice brains.

  18. Aggravation of brain infarction through an increase in acrolein production and a decrease in glutathione with aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uemura, Takeshi; Watanabe, Kenta; Ishibashi, Misaki; Saiki, Ryotaro; Kuni, Kyoshiro; Nishimura, Kazuhiro; Toida, Toshihiko; Kashiwagi, Keiko; Igarashi, Kazuei

    2016-04-29

    We previously reported that tissue damage during brain infarction was mainly caused by inactivation of proteins by acrolein. This time, it was tested why brain infarction increases in parallel with aging. A mouse model of photochemically induced thrombosis (PIT) was studied using 2, 6, and 12 month-old female C57BL/6 mice. The size of brain infarction in the mouse PIT model increased with aging. The volume of brain infarction in 12 month-old mice was approximately 2-fold larger than that in 2 month-old mice. The larger brain infarction in 12 month-old mice was due to an increase in acrolein based on an increase in the activity of spermine oxidase, together with a decrease in glutathione (GSH), a major acrolein-detoxifying compound in cells, based on the decrease in one of the subunits of glutathione biosynthesizing enzymes, γ-glutamylcysteine ligase modifier subunit, with aging. The results indicate that aggravation of brain infarction with aging was mainly due to the increase in acrolein production and the decrease in GSH in brain.

  19. Traumatic Brain Injury in Qatar: Age Matters—Insights from a 4-Year Observational Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moamena El-Matbouly

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Overall traumatic brain injury (TBI incidence and related death rates vary across different age groups. Objectives. To evaluate the incidence, causes, and outcome of TBI in adolescents and young adult population in Qatar. Method. This was a retrospective review of all TBIs admitted to the trauma center between January 2008 and December 2011. Demographics, mechanism of injury, morbidity, and mortality were analyzed in different age groups. Results. A total of 1665 patients with TBI were admitted; the majority were males (92% with a mean age of 28 ± 16 years. The common mechanism of injury was motor vehicle crashes and falls from height (51% and 35%, resp.. TBI was incidentally higher in young adults (34% and middle age group (21%. The most frequent injuries were contusion (40%, subarachnoid (25%, subdural (24%, and epidural hemorrhage (18%. The mortality rate was 11% among TBI patients. Mortality rates were 8% and 12% among adolescents and young adults, respectively. The highest mortality rate was observed in elderly patients (35%. Head AIS, ISS, and age were independent predictors for mortality. Conclusion. Adolescents and adults sustain significant portions of TBI, whereas mortality is much higher in the older group. Public awareness and injury prevention campaigns should target young population.

  20. Reduced neuroplasticity in aged rats: a role for the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calabrese, Francesca; Guidotti, Gianluigi; Racagni, Giorgio; Riva, Marco A

    2013-12-01

    Aging is a physiological process characterized by a significant reduction of neuronal plasticity that might contribute to the functional defects observed in old subjects. Even if the neurobiological mechanisms that contribute to such impairment remain largely unknown, a role for neurotrophic molecules, such as the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), has been postulated. On this basis, the purpose of this study was to provide a detailed investigation of the BDNF system, at transcriptional and translational levels, in the ventral and dorsal hippocampus and in the prefrontal cortex of middle-aged and old rats, compared with in adult animals. The expression of major players in BDNF regulation and response, including the transcription factors, calcium-responsive transcription factor, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) responsive element-binding protein (CREB), and neuronal Per Arnt Sim (PAS) domain protein 4, and the high-affinity receptor tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), was also analyzed. Our results demonstrate that the BDNF system is affected at different levels in aged rats with global impairment including reduced transcription, impaired protein synthesis and processing, and decreased activation of the TrkB receptors. These modifications might contribute to the cognitive deficits associated with aging and suggest that pharmacological strategies aimed at restoring reduced neurotrophism might be useful to counteract age-related cognitive decline.

  1. Gender- and region-dependent changes of redox biomarkers in the brain of successfully aging LOU/C rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyse, Emmanuel; Arseneault, Madeleine; Gaudreau, Pierrette; Ferland, Guylaine; Ramassamy, Charles

    2015-07-01

    The LOU/C (LOU) rat is an obesity resistant strain with higher longevity and healthspan than common rats. The management of oxidative stress being important to successful aging, we characterized this process in the aging LOU rat. Male/female LOU rats were euthanized at 4, 20, and 29 months. Macrodissected hippocampus, striatum, parietal cortex, cerebellum were assayed for tissue concentrations of glutathione (GSH), gamma-glutamyl-cysteine-synthetase (γ-GCS), total thiols, protein carbonyls, mRNAs of clusterin and the known protective enzymes thioredoxine-1 (TRX-1), glutaredoxine-1 (GLRX-1), superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD-1). Brain levels of GSH, γ-GCS, total thiols remained constant with age, except for GSH and γ-GCS which decreases in females. Clusterin, TRX-1, GLRX-1, SOD-1 mRNA levels were maintained or increased in the hippocampus with age. Age-dependency of the markers differed between sexes, with SOD-1 and TRX-1 decreases out of hippocampus in females. Since antioxidants were reported to decrease with age in the brain of Wistar rats, maintenance of GSH levels and of protective enzymes mRNA levels in the LOU rat brain could contribute to the preservation of cognitive functions in old age. Altogether, the successful aging of LOU rats may, at least in part, involve the conservation of functional antioxidant mechanisms in the brain, supporting the oxidative stress theory of aging.

  2. Therapeutics with SPION-labeled stem cells for the main diseases related to brain aging: a systematic review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarim, Larissa T; Nucci, Leopoldo P; Mamani, Javier B; Marti, Luciana C; Aguiar, Marina F; Silva, Helio R; Silva, Gisele S; Nucci-da-Silva, Mariana P; DelBel, Elaine A; Gamarra, Lionel F

    2014-01-01

    The increase in clinical trials assessing the efficacy of cell therapy for structural and functional regeneration of the nervous system in diseases related to the aging brain is well known. However, the results are inconclusive as to the best cell type to be used or the best methodology for the homing of these stem cells. This systematic review analyzed published data on SPION (superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle)-labeled stem cells as a therapy for brain diseases, such as ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and dementia. This review highlights the therapeutic role of stem cells in reversing the aging process and the pathophysiology of brain aging, as well as emphasizing nanotechnology as an important tool to monitor stem cell migration in affected regions of the brain. PMID:25143726

  3. Therapeutics with SPION-labeled stem cells for the main diseases related to brain aging: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarim, Larissa T; Nucci, Leopoldo P; Mamani, Javier B; Marti, Luciana C; Aguiar, Marina F; Silva, Helio R; Silva, Gisele S; Nucci-da-Silva, Mariana P; DelBel, Elaine A; Gamarra, Lionel F

    2014-01-01

    The increase in clinical trials assessing the efficacy of cell therapy for structural and functional regeneration of the nervous system in diseases related to the aging brain is well known. However, the results are inconclusive as to the best cell type to be used or the best methodology for the homing of these stem cells. This systematic review analyzed published data on SPION (superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle)-labeled stem cells as a therapy for brain diseases, such as ischemic stroke, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and dementia. This review highlights the therapeutic role of stem cells in reversing the aging process and the pathophysiology of brain aging, as well as emphasizing nanotechnology as an important tool to monitor stem cell migration in affected regions of the brain.

  4. Brain Representation of Active and Passive Hand Movements in Healthy Aged People

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CAI Weisen; WU Yi; WU Junfa

    2013-01-01

    Objective:To reveal the neural network of active and passive hand movements.Method:Seven healthy aged people were checked,and acquired fimctional magnetic resonance imaging data on a 1.5T scanner.Active movement consisted of repetitive grasping and loosening of hand; passive movement involved the same movement performed by examiner.Both types of hand movements were assessed separately.These data were analysed by Statistical Parametric Mapping Microsoft.Result:The main activated brain areas were the contralateral supplemental motor area,primary motor area,primary sensory area and the ipsilateral cerebellum when subjects gripped right hands actively and passively.The supplemental area was less active in passive hand movement than active hand movement.The activated brain areas were mainly within Brodmann area 4 during active hand movement; in the contrast,the voxels triggered by passive movement were mainly within Brodmann areas 3,1,2 areas.Conclusion:The results suggest that the neural networks of passive and active tasks spared some common areas,and the passive movement could be as effective as active movement to facilitate the recovery of limbs motor function in patients with brain damage.

  5. Putting age-related task activation into large-scale brain networks: A meta-analysis of 114 fMRI studies on healthy aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui-Jie; Hou, Xiao-Hui; Liu, Han-Hui; Yue, Chun-Lin; Lu, Guang-Ming; Zuo, Xi-Nian

    2015-10-01

    Normal aging is associated with cognitive decline and underlying brain dysfunction. Previous studies concentrated less on brain network changes at a systems level. Our goal was to examine these age-related changes of fMRI-derived activation with a common network parcellation of the human brain function, offering a systems-neuroscience perspective of healthy aging. We conducted a series of meta-analyses on a total of 114 studies that included 2035 older adults and 1845 young adults. Voxels showing significant age-related changes in activation were then overlaid onto seven commonly referenced neuronal networks. Older adults present moderate cognitive decline in behavioral performance during fMRI scanning, and hypo-activate the visual network and hyper-activate both the frontoparietal control and default mode networks. The degree of increased activation in frontoparietal network was associated with behavioral performance in older adults. Age-related changes in activation present different network patterns across cognitive domains. The systems neuroscience approach used here may be useful for elucidating the underlying network mechanisms of various brain plasticity processes during healthy aging.

  6. Shorter term aerobic exercise improves brain, cognition, and cardiovascular fitness in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Sandra B; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S; Defina, Laura F; Keebler, Molly W; Didehbani, Nyaz; Lu, Hanzhang

    2013-01-01

    Physical exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, is documented as providing a low cost regimen to counter well-documented cognitive declines including memory, executive function, visuospatial skills, and processing speed in normally aging adults. Prior aging studies focused largely on the effects of medium to long term (>6 months) exercise training; however, the shorter term effects have not been studied. In the present study, we examined changes in brain blood flow, cognition, and fitness in 37 cognitively healthy sedentary adults (57-75 years of age) who were randomized into physical training or a wait-list control group. The physical training group received supervised aerobic exercise for 3 sessions per week 1 h each for 12 weeks. Participants' cognitive, cardiovascular fitness and resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) were assessed at baseline (T1), mid (T2), and post-training (T3). We found higher resting CBF in the anterior cingulate region in the physical training group as compared to the control group from T1 to T3. Cognitive gains were manifested in the exercise group's improved immediate and delayed memory performance from T1 to T3 which also showed a significant positive association with increases in both left and right hippocampal CBF identified earlier in the time course at T2. Additionally, the two cardiovascular parameters, VO2 max and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) showed gains, compared to the control group. These data suggest that even shorter term aerobic exercise can facilitate neuroplasticity to reduce both the biological and cognitive consequences of aging to benefit brain health in sedentary adults.

  7. Shorter term aerobic exercise improves brain, cognition, and cardiovascular fitness in aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra B Chapman

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Physical exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, is documented as providing a low cost regimen to counter well-documented cognitive declines including memory, executive function, visuospatial skills, and processing speed in normally aging adults. Prior aging studies focused largely on the effects of medium to long term (>6 months exercise training; however, the shorter term effects have not been studied. In the present study, we examined changes in brain blood flow, cognition, and fitness in 37 cognitively healthy sedentary adults (57 – 75 years of age who were randomized into physical training or a wait-list control group. The physical training group received supervised aerobic exercise for 3 sessions per week one hour each for 12 weeks. Participants’ cognitive, cardiovascular fitness and resting cerebral blood flow (CBF were assessed at baseline (T1, mid (T2 and post-training (T3. We found higher resting CBF in the anterior cingulate region in the physical training group as compared to the control group from T1 to T3. Cognitive gains were manifested in the exercise group’s improved immediate and delayed memory performance from T1 to T3 which also showed a significant positive association with increases in both left and right hippocampal CBF identified earlier in the time course at T2. Additionally, the two cardiovascular parameters, VO2 max and rating of perceived exertion showed gains, compared to the control group. These data suggest that even shorter term aerobic exercise can facilitate neuroplasticity to reduce both the biological and cognitive consequences of aging to benefit brain health in sedentary adults.

  8. Brain aging in normal Egyptians: cognition, education, personality, genetic and immunological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elwan, Osamah; Madkour, Obsis; Elwan, Fadia; Mostafa, Mervat; Abbas Helmy, Azza; Abdel-Naseer, Maged; Abdel Shafy, Sanaa; El Faiuomy, Nervana

    2003-07-15

    Studying the cognitive and immunological changes that occur in old age as well as genetic function have been considered an important subject to differentiate between normal brain aging and early dementia especially Alzheimer's disease. The aim of this study is to stress on age-related neuropsychological and electrophysiological (P(300)) changes in normal Egyptian subjects, to throw light on the value of genetic (Apo-E(4) genotype) and immunological markers [interleukin-6 (IL-6) and intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAM-1) in the serum] as tools used in early detection of cognitive decline in cerebral aging. Ninety-four normal Egyptian subjects (below and above 60 years) were submitted to the following: (1) neuropsychological tests for testing memory, perception, psychomotor performance and attention, (2) Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) for personality traits, (3) event-related potential study (P(300), latency and amplitude), (4) genetic test for detection of Apolipoprotein E genotype and (5) immunological studies including detection of the level of IL-6 and ICAM-1 in serum. There was a significant impairment of memory, psychomotor performance and perception in elderly subjects particularly males and subjects with low level of education. Regarding personality, significantly high scores were obtained in neuroticism scale of EPQ in elderly subjects. Apo-E(3)/E(3) was the most common genotype encountered in Egyptian subjects (49.1%). It was found that subjects with Apo-E(4) genotype did significantly worse in scores of intentional memory test (sensory memory) when compared with other genotypes. Statistically significant impairment in attention and sensory memory was found in subjects with high IL-6 level. This could not be detected in subjects with high ICAM-1 level. In conclusion, advancing age and lower levels of education are considered risk factors for cognitive decline in normal brain aging. Neuropsychological tests remain as the highly sensitive tools

  9. Regional differences in gene expression and promoter usage in aged human brains

    KAUST Repository

    Pardo, Luba M.

    2013-02-19

    To characterize the promoterome of caudate and putamen regions (striatum), frontal and temporal cortices, and hippocampi from aged human brains, we used high-throughput cap analysis of gene expression to profile the transcription start sites and to quantify the differences in gene expression across the 5 brain regions. We also analyzed the extent to which methylation influenced the observed expression profiles. We sequenced more than 71 million cap analysis of gene expression tags corresponding to 70,202 promoter regions and 16,888 genes. More than 7000 transcripts were differentially expressed, mainly because of differential alternative promoter usage. Unexpectedly, 7% of differentially expressed genes were neurodevelopmental transcription factors. Functional pathway analysis on the differentially expressed genes revealed an overrepresentation of several signaling pathways (e.g., fibroblast growth factor and wnt signaling) in hippocampus and striatum. We also found that although 73% of methylation signals mapped within genes, the influence of methylation on the expression profile was small. Our study underscores alternative promoter usage as an important mechanism for determining the regional differences in gene expression at old age.

  10. Prenatal ethanol exposure differentially affects hippocampal neurogenesis in the adolescent and aged brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Mohapel, J; Titterness, A K; Patten, A R; Taylor, S; Ratzlaff, A; Ratzlaff, T; Helfer, J; Christie, B R

    2014-07-25

    Exposure to ethanol in utero is associated with a myriad of sequelae for the offspring. Some of these effects are morphological in nature and noticeable from birth, while others involve more subtle changes to the brain that only become apparent later in life when the individuals are challenged cognitively. One brain structure that shows both functional and structural deficits following prenatal ethanol exposure is the hippocampus. The hippocampus is composed of two interlocking gyri, the cornu ammonis (CA) and the dentate gyrus (DG), and they are differentially affected by prenatal ethanol exposure. The CA shows a more consistent loss in neuronal numbers, with different ethanol exposure paradigms, than the DG, which in contrast shows more pronounced and consistent deficits in synaptic plasticity. In this study we show that significant deficits in adult hippocampal neurogenesis are apparent in aged animals following prenatal ethanol exposure. Deficits in hippocampal neurogenesis were not apparent in younger animals. Surprisingly, even when ethanol exposure occurred in conjunction with maternal stress, deficits in neurogenesis did not occur at this young age, suggesting that the capacity for neurogenesis is highly conserved early in life. These findings are unique in that they demonstrate for the first time that deficits in neurogenesis associated with prenatal ethanol consumption appear later in life.

  11. Age-related influences of prior sleep on brain activation during verbal encoding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle B Jonelis

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Disrupted sleep is more common in older adults (OA than younger adults (YA, often co-morbid with other conditions. How these sleep disturbances affect cognitive performance is an area of active study. We examined whether brain activation during verbal encoding correlates with sleep quantity and quality the night before testing in a group of healthy OA and YA. Twenty-seven OA (ages 59-82 and twenty-seven YA (ages 19-36 underwent one night of standard polysomnography. Twelve hours post-awakening, subjects performed a verbal encoding task while undergoing functional MRI. Analyses examined the group (OA vs. YA by prior sleep quantity (Total Sleep Time (TST or quality (Sleep Efficiency (SE interaction on cerebral activation, controlling for performance. Longer TST promoted higher levels of activation in the bilateral anterior parahippocampi in OA and lower activation levels in the left anterior parahippocampus in YA. Greater SE promoted higher activation levels in the left posterior parahippocampus and right inferior frontal gyrus in YA, but not in OA. The roles of these brain regions in verbal encoding suggest, in OA, longer sleep duration may facilitate functional compensation during cognitive challenges. By contrast, in YA, shorter sleep duration may necessitate functional compensation to maintain cognitive performance, similar to what is seen following acute sleep deprivation. Additionally, in YA, better sleep quality may improve semantic retrieval processes, thereby aiding encoding.

  12. Is it a baby? Perceived age affects brain processing of faces differently in women and men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Riva, Federica; Zani, Alberto; Martin, Eleonora

    2011-11-01

    It is known that infant faces stimulate visual and anterior brain regions belonging to the mesocortical limbic system (orbito-frontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and nucleus accumbens) as well as the fusiform gyrus during face coding, suggesting a preferential response to baby schema. In the present investigation, faces of infants, children, and adults were presented to 40 male and female right-handed university students with technological objects (and inanimate scenarios to serve as targets) in a randomly mixed fashion. EEG was recorded from 128 scalp sites. In both sexes, the N1 response to infant faces was larger than the response to adult faces; however, the baby-specific N1 response was much larger in women than in men across the left hemisphere. The anterior N2 response to infants was greater than the response to children only in women, whereas the response to children of any age was larger than the response to adults in men. LORETA identified the intracranial sources of N2 response to infants in the left fusiform gyrus (FG), as well as the uncus, cingulate, and orbito-frontal cortices. The FG, the limbic, and especially the orbito-frontal sources were much larger in women than in men. The data suggest a sex difference in the brain response to faces of different ages and in the preferential response to infants, especially with regard to activation of the mesocorticolimbic system.

  13. Morphological and pathological evolution of the brain microcirculation in aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse M Hunter

    Full Text Available Key pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD, including amyloid plaques, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA and neurofibrillary tangles do not completely account for cognitive impairment, therefore other factors such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular pathologies, may contribute to AD. In order to elucidate the microvascular changes that contribute to aging and disease, direct neuropathological staining and immunohistochemistry, were used to quantify the structural integrity of the microvasculature and its innervation in three oldest-old cohorts: 1 nonagenarians with AD and a high amyloid plaque load; 2 nonagenarians with no dementia and a high amyloid plaque load; 3 nonagenarians without dementia or amyloid plaques. In addition, a non-demented (ND group (average age 71 years with no amyloid plaques was included for comparison. While gray matter thickness and overall brain mass were reduced in AD compared to ND control groups, overall capillary density was not different. However, degenerated string capillaries were elevated in AD, potentially suggesting greater microvascular "dysfunction" compared to ND groups. Intriguingly, apolipoprotein ε4 carriers had significantly higher string vessel counts relative to non-ε4 carriers. Taken together, these data suggest a concomitant loss of functional capillaries and brain volume in AD subjects. We also demonstrated a trend of decreasing vesicular acetylcholine transporter staining, a marker of cortical cholinergic afferents that contribute to arteriolar vasoregulation, in AD compared to ND control groups, suggesting impaired control of vasodilation in AD subjects. In addition, tyrosine hydroxylase, a marker of noradrenergic vascular innervation, was reduced which may also contribute to a loss of control of vasoconstriction. The data highlight the importance of the brain microcirculation in the pathogenesis and evolution of AD.

  14. Aging causes exacerbated ischemic brain injury and failure of sevoflurane post-conditioning: role of B-cell lymphoma-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, P; Zhao, J; Zhang, Y; Dong, J; Zhang, L; Li, D; Li, L; Zhang, X; Yang, B; Lei, W

    2014-09-05

    Aging is associated with exacerbated brain injury after ischemic stroke. Herein, we explored the possible mechanisms underlying the age-associated exacerbated brain injury after ischemic stroke and determined whether therapeutic intervention with anesthetic post-conditioning would provide neuroprotection in aged rats. Male Fisher 344 rats (young, 4 months; aged, 24 months) underwent 2h of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) followed by 24-h reperfusion, with or without sevoflurane post-conditioning for 15 min immediately at the onset of reperfusion. Compared with young rats, aged rats showed larger infarct size, worse neurological scores and more TUNEL-positive cells in the penumbral cerebral cortex at 24h after MCAO. However, edema formation and motor coordination were similar in both groups. Sevoflurane reduced the infarct size, edema formation, and TUNEL-positive cells, and improved the neurological outcome in young rats but not in aged rats. Molecular studies revealed that basal expression of the anti-apoptotic molecule B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) in the brain was lower in aged rats compared with young rats before MCAO, while basal expression of the pro-apoptotic molecule Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) showed similar levels in both groups. MCAO reduced Bcl-2 expression and increased Bax expression in both groups; however, Bax increase was more pronounced in aged rats. In young rats, sevoflurane reversed the above MCAO-induced changes. In contrast, sevoflurane failed to enhance Bcl-2 expression but decreased Bax expression in aged rats. These findings suggest that aging-associated reduction in basal Bcl-2 expression in the brain contributes to increased neuronal injury by enhancing cell apoptosis after ischemic stroke. Sevoflurane post-conditioning failed to provide neuroprotection in aged rats, probably due to its inability to increase Bcl-2 levels and prevent apoptosis in the brain.

  15. Coordination of gene expression of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acid cascade enzymes during human brain development and aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica H Ryan

    Full Text Available The polyunsaturated arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids (AA and DHA participate in cell membrane synthesis during neurodevelopment, neuroplasticity, and neurotransmission throughout life. Each is metabolized via coupled enzymatic reactions within separate but interacting metabolic cascades.AA and DHA pathway genes are coordinately expressed and underlie cascade interactions during human brain development and aging.The BrainCloud database for human non-pathological prefrontal cortex gene expression was used to quantify postnatal age changes in mRNA expression of 34 genes involved in AA and DHA metabolism.Expression patterns were split into Development (0 to 20 years and Aging (21 to 78 years intervals. Expression of genes for cytosolic phospholipases A2 (cPLA2, cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and -2, and other AA cascade enzymes, correlated closely with age during Development, less so during Aging. Expression of DHA cascade enzymes was less inter-correlated in each period, but often changed in the opposite direction to expression of AA cascade genes. Except for the PLA2G4A (cPLA2 IVA and PTGS2 (COX-2 genes at 1q25, highly inter-correlated genes were at distant chromosomal loci.Coordinated age-related gene expression during the brain Development and Aging intervals likely underlies coupled changes in enzymes of the AA and DHA cascades and largely occur through distant transcriptional regulation. Healthy brain aging does not show upregulation of PLA2G4 or PTGS2 expression, which was found in Alzheimer's disease.

  16. Serum metabolites from walnut-fed aged rats attenuate stress-induced neurotoxicity in brain cells in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    The shift in equilibrium towards excess reactive oxygen or nitrogen species production from innate antioxidant defense in brain is a critical factor in the declining neural functions and cognitive deficits accompanying age. In aging, there are noticeable alterations in the membrane microenvironment,...

  17. AGE-INDEPENDENT, GREY-MATTER-LOCALIZED, BRAIN ENHANCED OXIDATIVE STRESS IN MALE FISCHER 344 RATS,1,2

    Science.gov (United States)

    While studies showed that aging is accompanied by increased exposure of the brain to oxidative stress, others have not detected any age-correlated differences in levels of markers of oxidative stress. Use of conventional markers of oxidative damage in vivo, which may be formed ex...

  18. Visual Field Function in School-Aged Children with Spastic Unilateral Cerebral Palsy Related to Different Patterns of Brain Damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Lena; Rydberg, Agneta; Eliasson, Ann-Christin; Kits, Annika; Flodmark, Olof

    2010-01-01

    Aim: To relate visual field function to brain morphology in children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP). Method: Visual field function was assessed using the confrontation technique and Goldmann perimetry in 29 children (15 males, 14 females; age range 7-17y, median age 11y) with unilateral CP classified at Gross Motor Function Classification…

  19. Effect of age on neocortical brain cells in 90+ year old human females--a cell counting study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabricius, Katrine; Jacobsen, Jette Stub; Pakkenberg, Bente

    2013-01-01

    An increasing number of people are living past the age of 100 years, but little is known about what differentiates centenarians from the rest of the population. In this study, brains from female subjects in 3 different age groups, 65-75 years (n = 8), 76-85 years (n = 8), and 94-105 years (n = 7)...

  20. ABCC9/SUR2 in the brain: Implications for hippocampal sclerosis of aging and a potential therapeutic target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Peter T; Jicha, Gregory A; Wang, Wang-Xia; Ighodaro, Eseosa; Artiushin, Sergey; Nichols, Colin G; Fardo, David W

    2015-11-01

    The ABCC9 gene and its polypeptide product, SUR2, are increasingly implicated in human neurologic disease, including prevalent diseases of the aged brain. SUR2 proteins are a component of the ATP-sensitive potassium ("KATP") channel, a metabolic sensor for stress and/or hypoxia that has been shown to change in aging. The KATP channel also helps regulate the neurovascular unit. Most brain cell types express SUR2, including neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, vascular smooth muscle, pericytes, and endothelial cells. Thus it is not surprising that ABCC9 gene variants are associated with risk for human brain diseases. For example, Cantu syndrome is a result of ABCC9 mutations; we discuss neurologic manifestations of this genetic syndrome. More common brain disorders linked to ABCC9 gene variants include hippocampal sclerosis of aging (HS-Aging), sleep disorders, and depression. HS-Aging is a prevalent neurological disease with pathologic features of both neurodegenerative (aberrant TDP-43) and cerebrovascular (arteriolosclerosis) disease. As to potential therapeutic intervention, the human pharmacopeia features both SUR2 agonists and antagonists, so ABCC9/SUR2 may provide a "druggable target", relevant perhaps to both HS-Aging and Alzheimer's disease. We conclude that more work is required to better understand the roles of ABCC9/SUR2 in the human brain during health and disease conditions.

  1. Contribution of neuroinflammation and immunity to brain aging and the mitigating effects of physical and cognitive interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Benedetto, Svetlana; Müller, Ludmila; Wenger, Elisabeth; Düzel, Sandra; Pawelec, Graham

    2017-04-01

    It is widely accepted that the brain and the immune system continuously interact during normal as well as pathological functioning. Human aging is commonly accompanied by low-grade inflammation in both the immune and central nervous systems, thought to contribute to many age-related diseases. This review of the current literature focuses first on the normal neuroimmune interactions occurring in the brain, which promote learning, memory and neuroplasticity. Further, we discuss the protective and dynamic role of barriers to neuroimmune interactions, which have become clearer with the recent discovery of the meningeal lymphatic system. Next, we consider age-related changes of the immune system and possible deleterious influences of immunosenescence and low-grade inflammation (inflammaging) on neurodegenerative processes in the normally aging brain. We survey the major immunomodulators and neuroregulators in the aging brain and their highly tuned dynamic and reciprocal interactions. Finally, we consider our current understanding of how physical activity, as well as a combination of physical and cognitive interventions, may mediate anti-inflammatory effects and thus positively impact brain aging.

  2. TGFβ lengthens the G1 phase of stem cells in aged mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daynac, Mathieu; Pineda, Jose R; Chicheportiche, Alexandra; Gauthier, Laurent R; Morizur, Lise; Boussin, François D; Mouthon, Marc-André

    2014-12-01

    Neurogenesis decreases during aging causing a progressive cognitive decline but it is still controversial whether proliferation defects in neurogenic niches result from a loss of neural stem cells or from an impairment of their progression through the cell cycle. Using an accurate fluorescence-activated cell sorting technique, we show that the pool of neural stem cells is maintained in the subventricular zone of middle-aged mice while they have a reduced proliferative potential eventually leading to the subsequent decrease of their progeny. In addition, we demonstrate that the G1 phase is lengthened during aging specifically in activated stem cells, but not in transit-amplifying cells, and directly impacts on neurogenesis. Finally, we report that inhibition of TGFβ signaling restores cell cycle progression defects in stem cells. Our data highlight the significance of cell cycle dysregulation in stem cells in the aged brain and provide an attractive foundation for the development of anti-TGFβ regenerative therapies based on stimulating endogenous neural stem cells.

  3. Relationships between brain metabolism decrease in normal aging and changes in structural and functional connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chételat, Gaël; Landeau, Brigitte; Salmon, Eric; Yakushev, Igor; Bahri, Mohamed Ali; Mézenge, Florence; Perrotin, Audrey; Bastin, Christine; Manrique, Alain; Scheurich, Armin; Scheckenberger, Mathias; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis; Fellgiebel, Andreas

    2013-08-01

    Normal aging is characterized by brain glucose metabolism decline predominantly in the prefrontal cortex. The goal of the present study was to assess whether this change was associated with age-related alteration of white matter (WM) structural integrity and/or functional connectivity. FDG-PET data from 40 young and 57 elderly healthy participants from two research centers (n=49/48 in Center 1/2) were analyzed. WM volume from T1-weighted MRI (Center 1), fractional anisotropy from diffusion-tensor imaging (Center 2), and resting-state fMRI data (Center 1) were also obtained. Group comparisons were performed within each imaging modality. Then, positive correlations were assessed, within the elderly, between metabolism in the most affected region and the other neuroimaging modalities. Metabolism decline in the elderly predominated in the left inferior frontal junction (LIFJ). LIFJ hypometabolism was significantly associated with macrostructural and microstructural WM disturbances in long association fronto-temporo-occipital fibers, while no relationship was found with functional connectivity. The findings offer new perspectives to understand normal aging processes and open avenues for future studies to explore causality between age-related metabolism and connectivity changes.

  4. In vivo molecular imaging of the GABA/benzodiazepine receptor complex in the aged rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoekzema, Elseline; Rojas, Santiago; Herance, Raúl; Pareto, Deborah; Abad, Sergio; Jiménez, Xavier; Figueiras, Francisca P; Popota, Foteini; Ruiz, Alba; Flotats, Núria; Fernández, Francisco J; Rocha, Milagros; Rovira, Mariana; Víctor, Víctor M; Gispert, Juan D

    2012-07-01

    The GABA-ergic system, known to regulate neural tissue genesis during cortical development, has been postulated to play a role in cerebral aging processes. Using in vivo molecular imaging and voxel-wise quantification, we aimed to assess the effects of aging on the benzodiazepine (BDZ) recognition site of the GABA(A) receptor. To visualize BDZ site availability, [(11)C]-flumazenil microPET acquisitions were conducted in young and old rats. The data were analyzed and region of interest analyses were applied to validate the voxel-wise approach. We observed decreased [(11)C]-flumazenil binding in the aged rat brains in comparison with the young control group. More specifically, clusters of reduced radioligand uptake were detected in the bilateral hippocampus, cerebellum, midbrain, and bilateral frontal and parieto-occipital cortex. Our results support the pertinence of voxel-wise quantification in the analysis of microPET data. Moreover, these findings indicate that the aging process involves declines in neural BDZ recognition site availability, proposed to reflect alterations in GABA(A) receptor subunit polypeptide expression.

  5. Longitudinal study of callosal microstructure in the normal adult aging brain using quantitative DTI fiber tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Edith V; Rohlfing, Torsten; Pfefferbaum, Adolf

    2010-01-01

    We present a review of neuroimaging studies of normal adult aging conducted with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and data from one of the first longitudinal studies using DTI to study normal aging. To date, virtually all DTI studies of normal adult aging have been cross-sectional and have identified several patterns of white matter microstructural sparing and compromise that differentiate regional effects, fiber type, and diffusivity characteristics: (1) fractional anisotropy (FA) is lower and mean diffusivity is higher in older than younger adults, (2) aging is characterized by an anterior-to-posterior gradient of greater-to-lesser compromise also seen in superior-to-inferior fiber systems, and (3) association fibers connecting cortical sites appear to be more vulnerable to aging than projection fibers. The results of this longitudinal study of the macrostructure and microstructure of the corpus callosum yielded a consistent pattern of differences between healthy, young (20s to 30s) and elderly (60s to 70s) men and women without change over 2 years. We then divided the fibers of the corpus callosum into the midsagittal strip and the lateral distal fibers in an attempt to identify the locus of the age-related differences. The results indicated that, on average, mean values of FA and longitudinal diffusivity (lambdaL) were lower in the distal than midsagittal fibers in both groups, but the age effects and the anterior-to-posterior gradients were more pronounced for the distal than midsagittal fibers and extended more posteriorly in the distal than midsagittal fibers. Despite lack of evidence for callosal aging over 2 years, ventricular enlargement occurred and was disproportionately greater in the elderly relative to the young group, being 8.2% in the elderly but only 1.2% in the young group. Thus, different brain regions can express different rates of change with aging. Our longitudinal DTI data indicate that normal aging is associated with declining FA and

  6. Association of plasma β-amyloid with MRI markers of structural brain aging the 3-City Dijon study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaffashian, Sara; Tzourio, Christophe; Soumaré, Aïcha; Dufouil, Carole; Mazoyer, Bernard; Schraen-Maschke, Susanna; Buée, Luc; Debette, Stéphanie

    2015-10-01

    Cerebral β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition and atrophy are central features of Alzheimer disease. Studies of Alzheimer disease biomarkers have largely focused on Aβ in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and there is uncertainty as to what plasma Aβ may be a marker. We examined the association of Aβ levels in the plasma with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-markers of brain aging, including longitudinal changes in global and regional brain volumes, in dementia-free persons. We studied 1530 participants of the Three-City-Dijon cohort, aged 65-80 years. Plasma Aβ measurement and magnetic resonance imaging were performed at baseline and after a 4-year follow up. Total brain, gray matter, and hippocampal volume were estimated using voxel-based morphometry, and annualized change in brain volumes was calculated. Increased plasma Aβ1-40 was associated with lower baseline hippocampal volume. Although baseline plasma Aβ levels were not associated with longitudinal change in brain volumes, consistently high plasma Aβ1-40 levels were associated with faster total brain atrophy and consistently low plasma Aβ1-42/Aβ1-40 ratio, with increased total brain atrophy and gray matter atrophy. In dementia-free older adults, high plasma Aβ1-40 and low plasma Aβ1-42/Aβ1-40 ratio were associated with smaller hippocampal volume and accelerated global and regional brain atrophy respectively.

  7. Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1: At the Crossroads of Brain Development and Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrigley, Sarah; Arafa, Donia; Tropea, Daniela

    2017-01-01

    Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) is a polypeptide hormone structurally similar to insulin. It is central to the somatotropic axis, acting downstream of growth hormone (GH). It activates both the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase and PI3K signaling pathways, acting in almost every tissue in the body to promote tissue growth and maturation through upregulation of anabolic processes. Overall GH and IGF1 signaling falls with age, suggesting that it is this reduced IGF1 activity that leads to age-related changes in organisms. However, mutations that reduce IGF1-signaling activity can dramatically extend the lifespan of organisms. Therefore, the role of IGF1 in the overall aging process is unclear. This review article will focus on the role of IGF1 in brain development and aging. The evidence points towards a role for IGF1 in neurodevelopment both prenatally and in the early post-natal period, and in plasticity and remodeling throughout life. This review article will then discuss the hallmarks of aging and cognitive decline associated with falls in IGF1 levels towards the end of life. Finally, the role of IGF1 will be discussed within the context of both neuropsychiatric disorders caused by impaired development of the nervous system, and neurodegenerative disorders associated with aging. IGF1 and its derivatives are shown to improve the symptoms of certain neuropsychiatric disorders caused by deranged neurodevelopment and these effects have been correlated with changes in the underlying biology in both in vitro and in vivo studies. On the other hand, studies looking at IGF1 in neurodegenerative diseases have been conflicting, supporting both a role for increased and decreased IGF1 signaling in the underlying pathogenesis of these diseases. PMID:28203146

  8. Age, gender, and hemispheric differences in iron deposition in the human brain: an in vivo MRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiaojun; Wang, Qidong; Zhang, Minming

    2008-03-01

    It is well known that iron accumulates in the brains of patients with various neurodegenerative diseases. To better understand disease-related iron changes, it is necessary to know the physiological distribution and accumulation of iron in the human brain. Studies have shown that brain iron levels increase with aging. However, the effects of gender and hemispheric laterality on iron accumulation and distribution are not well established. In this study, we estimated the brain iron levels in vivo in 78 healthy adults ranging in age 22 to 78 years using magnetic susceptibility-weighted phase imaging. The effects of age, gender, and hemispheric location on brain iron levels were evaluated within the framework of a general linear model. We found that the left hemisphere had higher iron levels than the right in the putamen, globus pallidus, substantia nigra, thalamus, and frontal white matter. We argue that the hemispheric asymmetry of iron content may underlie that of the dopaminergic system and may be related to motor lateralization in humans. In addition, significant age-related iron accumulation occurred in the putamen, red nucleus, and frontal white matter, but no gender-related differences in iron levels were detected. The results of this study extend our knowledge of the physiological distribution and accumulation of iron in the human brain.

  9. Real-time fMRI in neuroscience research and its use in studying the aging brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohit Rana

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive decline is a major concern in the aging population. It is normative to experience some deterioration in cognitive abilities with advanced age such as related to memory performance, attention distraction to interference, task switching, and processing speed. However, intact cognitive functioning in old age is important for leading an independent day-to-day life. Thus, studying ways to counteract or delay the onset of cognitive decline in aging is crucial. The literature offers various explanations for the decline in cognitive performance in aging; among those are age-related gray and white matter atrophy, synaptic degeneration, blood flow reduction, neurochemical alterations and change in connectivity patterns with advanced age. An emerging literature on neurofeedback and Brain Computer Interface (BCI reports exciting results supporting the benefits of volitional modulation of brain activity on cognition and behavior. Neurofeedback studies based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI have shown behavioral changes in schizophrenia and behavioral benefits in nicotine addiction. This article integrates research on cognitive and brain aging with evidence of brain and behavioral modification due to rtfMRI neurofeedback. We offer a state-of-the-art description of the rtfMRI technique with an eye towards its application in aging. We present preliminary results of a feasibility study exploring the possibility of using rtfMRI to train older adults to volitionally control brain activity. Based on these first findings, we discuss possible implementations of rtfMRI neurofeedback as a novel technique to study and alleviate cognitive decline in healthy and pathological aging.

  10. Real-Time fMRI in Neuroscience Research and Its Use in Studying the Aging Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rana, Mohit; Varan, Andrew Q.; Davoudi, Anis; Cohen, Ronald A.; Sitaram, Ranganatha; Ebner, Natalie C.

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive decline is a major concern in the aging population. It is normative to experience some deterioration in cognitive abilities with advanced age such as related to memory performance, attention distraction to interference, task switching, and processing speed. However, intact cognitive functioning in old age is important for leading an independent day-to-day life. Thus, studying ways to counteract or delay the onset of cognitive decline in aging is crucial. The literature offers various explanations for the decline in cognitive performance in aging; among those are age-related gray and white matter atrophy, synaptic degeneration, blood flow reduction, neurochemical alterations, and change in connectivity patterns with advanced age. An emerging literature on neurofeedback and Brain Computer Interface (BCI) reports exciting results supporting the benefits of volitional modulation of brain activity on cognition and behavior. Neurofeedback studies based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI) have shown behavioral changes in schizophrenia and behavioral benefits in nicotine addiction. This article integrates research on cognitive and brain aging with evidence of brain and behavioral modification due to rtfMRI neurofeedback. We offer a state-of-the-art description of the rtfMRI technique with an eye towards its application in aging. We present preliminary results of a feasibility study exploring the possibility of using rtfMRI to train older adults to volitionally control brain activity. Based on these first findings, we discuss possible implementations of rtfMRI neurofeedback as a novel technique to study and alleviate cognitive decline in healthy and pathological aging. PMID:27803662

  11. Sleep facilitates clearance of metabolites from the brain: glymphatic function in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendelsohn, Andrew R; Larrick, James W

    2013-12-01

    Decline of cognition and increasing risk of neurodegenerative diseases are major problems associated with aging in humans. Of particular importance is how the brain removes potentially toxic biomolecules that accumulate with normal neuronal function. Recently, a biomolecule clearance system using convective flow between the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) to remove toxic metabolites in the brain was described. Xie and colleagues now report that in mice the clearance activity of this so-called "glymphatic system" is strongly stimulated by sleep and is associated with an increase in interstitial volume, possibly by shrinkage of astroglial cells. Moreover, anesthesia and attenuation of adrenergic signaling can activate the glymphatic system to clear potentially toxic proteins known to contribute to the pathology of Alzheimer disease (AD) such as beta-amyloid (Abeta). Clearance during sleep is as much as two-fold faster than during waking hours. These results support a new hypothesis to answer the age-old question of why sleep is necessary. Glymphatic dysfunction may pay a hitherto unsuspected role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases as well as maintenance of cognition. Furthermore, clinical studies suggest that quality and duration of sleep may be predictive of the onset of AD, and that quality sleep may significantly reduce the risk of AD for apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ɛ4 carriers, who have significantly greater chances of developing AD. Further characterization of the glymphatic system in humans may lead to new therapies and methods of prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. A public health initiative to ensure adequate sleep among middle-aged and older people may prove useful in preventing AD, especially in apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ɛ4 carriers.

  12. Parameters of glucose metabolism and the aging brain: a magnetization transfer imaging study of brain macro- and micro-structure in older adults without diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akintola, Abimbola A; van den Berg, Annette; Altmann-Schneider, Irmhild; Jansen, Steffy W; van Buchem, Mark A; Slagboom, P Eline; Westendorp, Rudi G; van Heemst, Diana; van der Grond, Jeroen

    2015-08-01

    Given the concurrent, escalating epidemic of diabetes mellitus and neurodegenerative diseases, two age-related disorders, we aimed to understand the relation between parameters of glucose metabolism and indices of pathology in the aging brain. From the Leiden Longevity Study, 132 participants (mean age 66 years) underwent a 2-h oral glucose tolerance test to assess glucose tolerance (fasted and area under the curve (AUC) glucose), insulin sensitivity (fasted and AUC insulin and homeostatic model assessment of insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IS)) and insulin secretion (insulinogenic index). 3-T brain MRI was used to detect macro-structural damage (atrophy, white matter hyper-intensities, infarcts and/or micro-bleeds) and magnetization transfer imaging (MTI) to detect loss of micro-structural homogeneity that remains otherwise invisible on conventional MRI. Macro-structurally, higher fasted glucose was significantly associated with white matter atrophy (P = 0.028). Micro-structurally, decreased magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) peak height in gray matter was associated with higher fasted insulin (P = 0.010), AUCinsulin (P = 0.001), insulinogenic index (P = 0.008) and lower HOMA-IS index (P brain parenchymal homogeneity. These findings offer some insight into the association between different parameters of glucose metabolism (impairment of which is characteristic of diabetes mellitus) and brain aging.

  13. The influence of age and mild cognitive impairment on associative memory performance and underlying brain networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oedekoven, Christiane S H; Jansen, Andreas; Keidel, James L; Kircher, Tilo; Leube, Dirk

    2015-12-01

    Associative memory is essential to everyday activities, such as the binding of faces and corresponding names to form single bits of information. However, this ability often becomes impaired with increasing age. The most important neural substrate of associative memory is the hippocampus, a structure crucially implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The main aim of this study was to compare neural correlates of associative memory in healthy aging and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), an at-risk state for AD. We used fMRI to investigate differences in brain activation and connectivity between young controls (n = 20), elderly controls (n = 32) and MCI patients (n = 21) during associative memory retrieval. We observed lower hippocampal activation in MCI patients than control groups during a face-name recognition task, and the magnitude of this decrement was correlated with lower associative memory performance. Further, increased activation in precentral regions in all older adults indicated a stronger involvement of the task positive network (TPN) with age. Finally, functional connectivity analysis revealed a stronger link of hippocampal and striatal components in older adults in comparison to young controls, regardless of memory impairment. In elderly controls, this went hand-in-hand with a stronger activation of striatal areas. Increased TPN activation may be linked to greater reliance on cognitive control in both older groups, while increased functional connectivity between the hippocampus and the striatum may suggest dedifferentiation, especially in elderly controls.

  14. SIRT1 in the Brain – Connections with Aging-associated Disorders and Lifespan

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    Fanny eNg

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The silent mating type information regulation 2 proteins (sirtuins 1 of class III histone deacetylases have been associated with health span and longevity. SIRT1, the best studied member of the mammalian sirtuins, has a myriad of roles in multiple tissues and organs. However, a significant part of SIRT1’s role that impinges on aging and lifespan may lie in its activities in the central nervous system (CNS neurons. Systemically, SIRT1 influences energy metabolism and circadian rhythm through its activity in the hypothalamic nuclei. From a cell biological perspective, SIRT1 is a crucial component of multiple interconnected regulatory networks that modulate dendritic and axonal growth, as well as survival against stress. This neuronal cell autonomous activity of SIRT1 is also important for neuronal plasticity, cognitive functions, as well as protection against aging-associated neuronal degeneration and cognitive decline. We discuss recent findings that have shed light on the various activities of SIRT1 in the brain, which collectively impinge on aging-associated disorders and lifespan.

  15. Cigarette smoking accelerated brain aging and induced pre-Alzheimer-like neuropathology in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Yuen-Shan; Yang, Xifei; Yeung, Sze-Chun; Chiu, Kin; Lau, Chi-Fai; Tsang, Andrea Wing-Ting; Mak, Judith Choi-Wo; Chang, Raymond Chuen-Chung

    2012-01-01

    Cigarette smoking has been proposed as a major risk factor for aging-related pathological changes and Alzheimer's disease (AD). To date, little is known for how smoking can predispose our brains to dementia or cognitive impairment. This study aimed to investigate the cigarette smoke-induced pathological changes in brains. Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were exposed to either sham air or 4% cigarette smoke 1 hour per day for 8 weeks in a ventilated smoking chamber to mimic the situation of chronic passive smoking. We found that the levels of oxidative stress were significantly increased in the hippocampus of the smoking group. Smoking also affected the synapse through reducing the expression of pre-synaptic proteins including synaptophysin and synapsin-1, while there were no changes in the expression of postsynaptic protein PSD95. Decreased levels of acetylated-tubulin and increased levels of phosphorylated-tau at 231, 205 and 404 epitopes were also observed in the hippocampus of the smoking rats. These results suggested that axonal transport machinery might be impaired, and the stability of cytoskeleton might be affected by smoking. Moreover, smoking affected amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing by increasing the production of sAPPβ and accumulation of β-amyloid peptide in the CA3 and dentate gyrus region. In summary, our data suggested that chronic cigarette smoking could induce synaptic changes and other neuropathological alterations. These changes might serve as evidence of early phases of neurodegeneration and may explain why smoking can predispose brains to AD and dementia.

  16. Physical exercise as a preventive or disease-modifying treatment of dementia and brain aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlskog, J Eric; Geda, Yonas E; Graff-Radford, Neill R; Petersen, Ronald C

    2011-09-01

    A rapidly growing literature strongly suggests that exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, may attenuate cognitive impairment and reduce dementia risk. We used PubMed (keywords exercise and cognition) and manuscript bibliographies to examine the published evidence of a cognitive neuroprotective effect of exercise. Meta-analyses of prospective studies documented a significantly reduced risk of dementia associated with midlife exercise; similarly, midlife exercise significantly reduced later risks of mild cognitive impairment in several studies. Among patients with dementia or mild cognitive impairment, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) documented better cognitive scores after 6 to 12 months of exercise compared with sedentary controls. Meta-analyses of RCTs of aerobic exercise in healthy adults were also associated with significantly improved cognitive scores. One year of aerobic exercise in a large RCT of seniors was associated with significantly larger hippocampal volumes and better spatial memory; other RCTs in seniors documented attenuation of age-related gray matter volume loss with aerobic exercise. Cross-sectional studies similarly reported significantly larger hippocampal or gray matter volumes among physically fit seniors compared with unfit seniors. Brain cognitive networks studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging display improved connectivity after 6 to 12 months of exercise. Animal studies indicate that exercise facilitates neuroplasticity via a variety of biomechanisms, with improved learning outcomes. Induction of brain neurotrophic factors by exercise has been confirmed in multiple animal studies, with indirect evidence for this process in humans. Besides a brain neuroprotective effect, physical exercise may also attenuate cognitive decline via mitigation of cerebrovascular risk, including the contribution of small vessel disease to dementia. Exercise should not be overlooked as an important therapeutic strategy.

  17. Cigarette smoking accelerated brain aging and induced pre-Alzheimer-like neuropathology in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuen-Shan Ho

    Full Text Available Cigarette smoking has been proposed as a major risk factor for aging-related pathological changes and Alzheimer's disease (AD. To date, little is known for how smoking can predispose our brains to dementia or cognitive impairment. This study aimed to investigate the cigarette smoke-induced pathological changes in brains. Male Sprague-Dawley (SD rats were exposed to either sham air or 4% cigarette smoke 1 hour per day for 8 weeks in a ventilated smoking chamber to mimic the situation of chronic passive smoking. We found that the levels of oxidative stress were significantly increased in the hippocampus of the smoking group. Smoking also affected the synapse through reducing the expression of pre-synaptic proteins including synaptophysin and synapsin-1, while there were no changes in the expression of postsynaptic protein PSD95. Decreased levels of acetylated-tubulin and increased levels of phosphorylated-tau at 231, 205 and 404 epitopes were also observed in the hippocampus of the smoking rats. These results suggested that axonal transport machinery might be impaired, and the stability of cytoskeleton might be affected by smoking. Moreover, smoking affected amyloid precursor protein (APP processing by increasing the production of sAPPβ and accumulation of β-amyloid peptide in the CA3 and dentate gyrus region. In summary, our data suggested that chronic cigarette smoking could induce synaptic changes and other neuropathological alterations. These changes might serve as evidence of early phases of neurodegeneration and may explain why smoking can predispose brains to AD and dementia.

  18. News of cognitive cure for age-related brain shrinkage is premature: a comment on Burgmans et al. (2009).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raz, Naftali; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2010-03-01

    The extant longitudinal literature consistently supports the notion of age-related declines in human brain volume. In a report on a longitudinal cognitive follow-up with cross-sectional brain measurements, Burgmans and colleagues (2009) claim that the extant studies overestimate brain volume declines, presumably due to inclusion of participants with preclinical cognitive pathology. Moreover, the authors of the article assert that such declines are absent among optimally healthy adults who maintain cognitive stability for several years. In this comment accompanied by reanalysis of previously published data, we argue that these claims are incorrect on logical, methodological, and empirical grounds.

  19. Metabolic triad in brain aging: mitochondria, insulin/IGF-1 signalling and JNK signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Fei; Jiang, Tianyi; Cadenas, Enrique

    2013-02-01

    Mitochondria generate second messengers, such as H2O2, that are involved in the redox regulation of cell signalling and their function is regulated by several cytosolic signalling pathways. IIS [insulin/IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) signalling] in the brain proceeds mainly through the PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase)-Akt (protein kinase B) pathway, which is involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival via the maintenance of the bioenergetic and metabolic capacities of mitochondria. Conversely, the JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase) pathway is induced by increased oxidative stress and JNK translocation to the mitochondrion results in impairment of energy metabolism. Moreover, IIS and JNK signalling interact with and antagonize each other. This review focuses on functional outcomes of a metabolic triad that entails the co-ordination of mitochondrial function (energy transducing and redox regulation), IIS and JNK signalling, in the aging brain and in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.

  20. Bacopa monnieri as an Antioxidant Therapy to Reduce Oxidative Stress in the Aging Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara Simpson

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The detrimental effect of neuronal cell death due to oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The Indian herb Bacopa monnieri is a dietary antioxidant, with animal and in vitro studies indicating several modes of action that may protect the brain against oxidative damage. In parallel, several studies using the CDRI08 extract have shown that extracts of Bacopa monnieri improve cognitive function in humans. The biological mechanisms of this cognitive enhancement are unknown. In this review we discuss the animal studies and in vivo evidence for Bacopa monnieri as a potential therapeutic antioxidant to reduce oxidative stress and improve cognitive function. We suggest that future studies incorporate neuroimaging particularly magnetic resonance spectroscopy into their randomized controlled trials to better understand whether changes in antioxidant status in vivo cause improvements in cognitive function.

  1. Healthy aging persons and their brains: promoting resilience through creative engagement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, Susan H; Basting, Anne D

    2010-02-01

    Creative engagement, as an expression of and a support for resilience, may have a neuroprotective effect among older adults, contributing to retention of cognitive capacity. Recent research on creative activities shows that they strengthen social networks and give persons a sense of control; both outcomes have been associated with brain health. The authors cite evidence suggesting that positive social interactions can nurture resilience and creative engagement among older persons, including those living with dementia. The motivational, attentional, affective, and social components of creative activities combine to offer older persons meaningful opportunities to express and strengthen their resilience, regardless of their cognitive status, despite the biopsychosocial challenges of aging. The article addresses implications for future research, clinical practice, and public policy, and suggests how gaps in current research on resilience and creativity might be addressed.

  2. Age differences in brain systems supporting transient and sustained processes involved in prospective memory and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peira, Nathalie; Ziaei, Maryam; Persson, Jonas

    2016-01-15

    In prospective memory (PM), an intention to act in response to an external event is formed, retained, and at a later stage, when the event occurs, the relevant action is performed. PM typically shows a decline in late adulthood, which might affect functions of daily living. The neural correlates of this decline are not well understood. Here, 15 young (6 female; age range=23-30years) and 16 older adults (5 female; age range=64-74years) were scanned with fMRI to examine age-related differences in brain activation associated with event-based PM using a task that facilitated the separation of transient and sustained components of PM. We show that older adults had reduced performance in conditions with high demands on prospective and working memory, while no age-difference was observed in low-demanding tasks. Across age groups, PM task performance activated separate sets of brain regions for transient and sustained responses. Age-differences in transient activation were found in fronto-striatal and MTL regions, with young adults showing more activation than older adults. Increased activation in young, compared to older adults, was also found for sustained PM activation in the IFG. These results provide new evidence that PM relies on dissociable transient and sustained cognitive processes, and that age-related deficits in PM can be explained by an inability to recruit PM-related brain networks in old age.

  3. Aerobic Exercise Intervention, CognitivePerformance, and Brain Structure : results from the Physical Influences on Brain in Aging (PHIBRA) Study

    OpenAIRE

    Jonasson, Lars; Nyberg, Lars; Kramer, Arthur; Lundquist, Anders; Riklund, Katrine; Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan

    2017-01-01

    Studies have shown that aerobic exercise has the potential to improve cognition and reduce brain atrophy in older adults. However, the literature is equivocal with regards to the specificity or generality of these effects. To this end, we report results on cognitive function and brain structure from a 6-month training intervention with 60 sedentary adults (64–78 years) randomized to either aerobic training or stretching and toning control training. Cognitive functions were assessed with a neu...

  4. Age-related carbon dioxide reactivity in children after moderate and severe traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maa, Tensing; Yeates, Keith Owen; Moore-Clingenpeel, Melissa; O'Brien, Nicole F

    2016-07-01

    OBJECTIVE The objective of this study is to assess carbon dioxide reactivity (CO2R) in children following traumatic brain injury (TBI). METHODS This prospective observational study enrolled children younger than 18 years old following moderate and severe TBI. Thirty-eight mechanically ventilated children had daily CO2R testing performed by measuring changes in their bilateral middle cerebral artery flow velocities using transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCD) after a transient increase in minute ventilation. The cohort was divided into 3 age groups: younger than 2 years (n = 12); 2 to 5 years old (n = 9); and older than 5 years (n = 17). RESULTS Children younger than 2 years old had a lower mean CO2R over time. The 2-5-year-old age group had higher mean CO2R than younger patients (p = 0.01), and the highest CO2R values compared with either of the other age groups (vs > 5 years old, p = 0.046; vs < 2 years old, p = 0.002). Having a lower minimum CO2R had a statistically significant negative effect on outcome at discharge (p = 0.0413). Impaired CO2R beyond Postinjury Day 4 trended toward having an effect on outcome at discharge (p = 0.0855). CONCLUSIONS Abnormal CO2R is prevalent in children following TBI, and the degree of impairment varies by age. No clinical or laboratory parameters were identified as risk factors for impaired CO2R. Lower minimum CO2R values are associated with worse outcome at discharge.

  5. Plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPases:Targets of oxidative stress in brain aging and neurodegeneration

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Asma; Zaidi

    2010-01-01

    The plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase(PMCA)pumps play an important role in the maintenance of precise levels of intracellular Ca2+[Ca2+]i,essential to the functioning of neurons.In this article,we review evidence showing age-related changes of the PMCAs in synaptic plasma membranes(SPMs).PMCA activity and protein levels in SPMs diminish progressively with increasing age. The PMCAs are very sensitive to oxidative stress and undergo functional and structural changes when exposed to oxidants of physiological relevance.The major signatures of oxidative modification in the PMCAs are rapid inactivation,conformational changes,aggregation, internalization from the plasma membrane and proteolytic degradation.PMCA proteolysis appears to be mediated by both calpains and caspases.The predominance of one proteolytic pathway vs the other,the ensuing pattern of PMCA degradation and its consequence on pump activity depends largely on the type of insult,its intensity and duration.Experimental reduction of PMCA expression not only alters the dynamics of cellular Ca2+ handling but also has a myriad of downstream conse-quences on various aspects of cell function,indicating a broad role of these pumps.Age-and oxidation-related down-regulation of the PMCAs may play an important role in compromised neuronal function in the aging brain and its several-fold increased susceptibility to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease,and stroke.Therapeutic approaches that protect the PMCAs and stabilize[Ca2+]i homeostasis may be capable of slowing and/or preventing neuronal degeneration.The PMCAs are therefore emerging as a new class of drug targets for therapeutic interventions in various chronic degenerative disorders.

  6. The bilingual brain. Proficiency and age of acquisition of the second language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perani, D; Paulesu, E; Galles, N S; Dupoux, E; Dehaene, S; Bettinardi, V; Cappa, S F; Fazio, F; Mehler, J

    1998-10-01

    Functional imaging methods show differences in the pattern of cerebral activation associated with the subject's native language (L1) compared with a second language (L2). In a recent PET investigation on bilingualism we showed that auditory processing of stories in L1 (Italian) engages the temporal lobes and temporoparietal cortex more extensively than L2 (English). However, in that study the Italian subjects learned L2 late and attained a fair, but not an excellent command of this language (low proficiency, late acquisition bilinguals). Thus, the different patterns of activation could be ascribed either to age of acquisition or to proficiency level. In the current study we use a similar paradigm to evaluate the effect of early and late acquisition of L2 in highly proficient bilinguals. We studied a group of Italian-English bilinguals who acquired L2 after the age of 10 years (high proficiency, late acquisition bilinguals) and a group of Spanish-Catalan bilinguals who acquired L2 before the age of 4 years (high proficiency, early acquisition bilinguals). The differing cortical responses we had observed when low proficiency volunteers listened to stories in L1 and L2 were not found in either of the high proficiency groups in this study. Several brain areas, similar to those observed for L1 in low proficiency bilinguals, were activated by L2. These findings suggest that, at least for pairs of L1 and L2 languages that are fairly close, attained proficiency is more important than age of acquisition as a determinant of the cortical representation of L2.

  7. Biochemical assessment of precuneus and posterior cingulate gyrus in the context of brain aging and Alzheimer's disease.

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    Chera L Maarouf

    Full Text Available Defining the biochemical alterations that occur in the brain during "normal" aging is an important part of understanding the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and of distinguishing pathological conditions from aging-associated changes. Three groups were selected based on age and on having no evidence of neurological or significant neurodegenerative disease: 1 young adult individuals, average age 26 years (n = 9; 2 middle-aged subjects, average age 59 years (n = 5; 3 oldest-old individuals, average age 93 years (n = 6. Using ELISA and Western blotting methods, we quantified and compared the levels of several key molecules associated with neurodegenerative disease in the precuneus and posterior cingulate gyrus, two brain regions known to exhibit early imaging alterations during the course of Alzheimer's disease. Our experiments revealed that the bioindicators of emerging brain pathology remained steady or decreased with advancing age. One exception was S100B, which significantly increased with age. Along the process of aging, neurofibrillary tangle deposition increased, even in the absence of amyloid deposition, suggesting the presence of amyloid plaques is not obligatory for their development and that limited tangle density is a part of normal aging. Our study complements a previous assessment of neuropathology in oldest-old subjects, and within the limitations of the small number of individuals involved in the present investigation, it adds valuable information to the molecular and structural heterogeneity observed along the course of aging and dementia. This work underscores the need to examine through direct observation how the processes of amyloid deposition unfold or change prior to the earliest phases of dementia emergence.

  8. Early-Onset Convulsive Seizures Induced by Brain Hypoxia-Ischemia in Aging Mice: Effects of Anticonvulsive Treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Justin; Wu, Chiping; Peng, Jessie; Patel, Nisarg; Huang, Yayi; Gao, Xiaoxing; Aljarallah, Salman; Eubanks, James H; McDonald, Robert; Zhang, Liang

    2015-01-01

    Aging is associated with an increased risk of seizures/epilepsy. Stroke (ischemic or hemorrhagic) and cardiac arrest related brain injury are two major causative factors for seizure development in this patient population. With either etiology, seizures are a poor prognostic factor. In spite of this, the underlying pathophysiology of seizure development is not well understood. In addition, a standardized treatment regimen with anticonvulsants and outcome assessments following treatment has yet to be established for these post-ischemic seizures. Previous studies have modeled post-ischemic seizures in adult rodents, but similar studies in aging/aged animals, a group that mirrors a higher risk elderly population, remain sparse. Our study therefore aimed to investigate early-onset seizures in aging animals using a hypoxia-ischemia (HI) model. Male C57 black mice 18-20-month-old underwent a unilateral occlusion of the common carotid artery followed by a systemic hypoxic episode (8% O2 for 30 min). Early-onset seizures were detected using combined behavioral and electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring. Brain injury was assessed histologically at different times post HI. Convulsive seizures were observed in 65% of aging mice post-HI but not in control aging mice following either sham surgery or hypoxia alone. These seizures typically occurred within hours of HI and behaviorally consisted of jumping, fast running, barrel-rolling, and/or falling (loss of the righting reflex) with limb spasms. No evident discharges during any convulsive seizures were seen on cortical-hippocampal EEG recordings. Seizure development was closely associated with acute mortality and severe brain injury on brain histological analysis. Intra-peritoneal injections of lorazepam and fosphenytoin suppressed seizures and improved survival but only when applied prior to seizure onset and not after. These findings together suggest that seizures are a major contributing factor to acute mortality in aging

  9. Regionally distinct responses of microglia and glial progenitor cells to whole brain irradiation in adult and aging rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Kun; Schindler, Matthew K; McQuail, Joseph A; Forbes, M Elizabeth; Riddle, David R

    2012-01-01

    Radiation therapy has proven efficacy for treating brain tumors and metastases. Higher doses and larger treatment fields increase the probability of eliminating neoplasms and preventing reoccurrence, but dose and field are limited by damage to normal tissues. Normal tissue injury is greatest during development and in populations of proliferating cells but also occurs in adults and older individuals and in non-proliferative cell populations. To better understand radiation-induced normal tissue injury and how it may be affected by aging, we exposed young adult, middle-aged, and old rats to 10 Gy of whole brain irradiation and assessed in gray- and white matter the responses of microglia, the primary cellular mediators of radiation-induced neuroinflammation, and oligodendrocyte precursor cells, the largest population of proliferating cells in the adult brain. We found that aging and/or irradiation caused only a few microglia to transition to the classically "activated" phenotype, e.g., enlarged cell body, few processes, and markers of phagocytosis, that is seen following more damaging neural insults. Microglial changes in response to aging and irradiation were relatively modest and three markers of reactivity - morphology, proliferation, and expression of the lysosomal marker CD68- were regulated largely independently within individual cells. Proliferation of oligodendrocyte precursors did not appear to be altered during normal aging but increased following irradiation. The impacts of irradiation and aging on both microglia and oligodendrocyte precursors were heterogeneous between white- and gray matter and among regions of gray matter, indicating that there are regional regulators of the neural response to brain irradiation. By several measures, the CA3 region of the hippocampus appeared to be differentially sensitive to effects of aging and irradiation. The changes assessed here likely contribute to injury following inflammatory challenges like brain irradiation and

  10. Regionally distinct responses of microglia and glial progenitor cells to whole brain irradiation in adult and aging rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kun Hua

    Full Text Available Radiation therapy has proven efficacy for treating brain tumors and metastases. Higher doses and larger treatment fields increase the probability of eliminating neoplasms and preventing reoccurrence, but dose and field are limited by damage to normal tissues. Normal tissue injury is greatest during development and in populations of proliferating cells but also occurs in adults and older individuals and in non-proliferative cell populations. To better understand radiation-induced normal tissue injury and how it may be affected by aging, we exposed young adult, middle-aged, and old rats to 10 Gy of whole brain irradiation and assessed in gray- and white matter the responses of microglia, the primary cellular mediators of radiation-induced neuroinflammation, and oligodendrocyte precursor cells, the largest population of proliferating cells in the adult brain. We found that aging and/or irradiation caused only a few microglia to transition to the classically "activated" phenotype, e.g., enlarged cell body, few processes, and markers of phagocytosis, that is seen following more damaging neural insults. Microglial changes in response to aging and irradiation were relatively modest and three markers of reactivity - morphology, proliferation, and expression of the lysosomal marker CD68- were regulated largely independently within individual cells. Proliferation of oligodendrocyte precursors did not appear to be altered during normal aging but increased following irradiation. The impacts of irradiation and aging on both microglia and oligodendrocyte precursors were heterogeneous between white- and gray matter and among regions of gray matter, indicating that there are regional regulators of the neural response to brain irradiation. By several measures, the CA3 region of the hippocampus appeared to be differentially sensitive to effects of aging and irradiation. The changes assessed here likely contribute to injury following inflammatory challenges like

  11. Early-Onset Convulsive Seizures Induced by Brain Hypoxia-Ischemia in Aging Mice: Effects of Anticonvulsive Treatments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin Wang

    Full Text Available Aging is associated with an increased risk of seizures/epilepsy. Stroke (ischemic or hemorrhagic and cardiac arrest related brain injury are two major causative factors for seizure development in this patient population. With either etiology, seizures are a poor prognostic factor. In spite of this, the underlying pathophysiology of seizure development is not well understood. In addition, a standardized treatment regimen with anticonvulsants and outcome assessments following treatment has yet to be established for these post-ischemic seizures. Previous studies have modeled post-ischemic seizures in adult rodents, but similar studies in aging/aged animals, a group that mirrors a higher risk elderly population, remain sparse. Our study therefore aimed to investigate early-onset seizures in aging animals using a hypoxia-ischemia (HI model. Male C57 black mice 18-20-month-old underwent a unilateral occlusion of the common carotid artery followed by a systemic hypoxic episode (8% O2 for 30 min. Early-onset seizures were detected using combined behavioral and electroencephalographic (EEG monitoring. Brain injury was assessed histologically at different times post HI. Convulsive seizures were observed in 65% of aging mice post-HI but not in control aging mice following either sham surgery or hypoxia alone. These seizures typically occurred within hours of HI and behaviorally consisted of jumping, fast running, barrel-rolling, and/or falling (loss of the righting reflex with limb spasms. No evident discharges during any convulsive seizures were seen on cortical-hippocampal EEG recordings. Seizure development was closely associated with acute mortality and severe brain injury on brain histological analysis. Intra-peritoneal injections of lorazepam and fosphenytoin suppressed seizures and improved survival but only when applied prior to seizure onset and not after. These findings together suggest that seizures are a major contributing factor to acute

  12. Hippocampal Sclerosis of Aging, a Common Alzheimer's Disease 'Mimic': Risk Genotypes are Associated with Brain Atrophy Outside the Temporal Lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nho, Kwangsik; Saykin, Andrew J; Nelson, Peter T

    2016-01-01

    Hippocampal sclerosis of aging (HS-Aging) is a common brain disease in older adults with a clinical course that is similar to Alzheimer's disease. Four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have previously shown association with HS-Aging. The present study investigated structural brain changes associated with these SNPs using surface-based analysis. Participants from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative cohort (ADNI; n = 1,239), with both MRI scans and genotype data, were used to assess the association between brain atrophy and previously identified HS-Aging risk SNPs in the following genes: GRN, TMEM106B, ABCC9, and KCNMB2 (minor allele frequency for each is >30%). A fifth SNP (near the ABCC9 gene) was evaluated in post-hoc analysis. The GRN risk SNP (rs5848_T) was associated with a pattern of atrophy in the dorsomedial frontal lobes bilaterally, remarkable since GRN is a risk factor for frontotemporal dementia. The ABCC9 risk SNP (rs704180_A) was associated with multifocal atrophy whereas a SNP (rs7488080_A) nearby (∼50 kb upstream) ABCC9 was associated with atrophy in the right entorhinal cortex. Neither TMEM106B (rs1990622_T), KCNMB2 (rs9637454_A), nor any of the non-risk alleles were associated with brain atrophy. When all four previously identified HS-Aging risk SNPs were summed into a polygenic risk score, there was a pattern of associated multifocal brain atrophy in a predominately frontal pattern. We conclude that common SNPs previously linked to HS-Aging pathology were associated with a distinct pattern of anterior cortical atrophy. Genetic variation associated with HS-Aging pathology may represent a non-Alzheimer's disease contribution to atrophy outside of the hippocampus in older adults.

  13. Bmi1 is down-regulated in the aging brain and displays antioxidant and protective activities in neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Abdouh

    Full Text Available Aging increases the risk to develop several neurodegenerative diseases, although the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Inactivation of the Polycomb group gene Bmi1 in mice results in growth retardation, cerebellar degeneration, and development of a premature aging-like phenotype. This progeroid phenotype is characterized by formation of lens cataracts, apoptosis of cortical neurons, and increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS concentrations, owing to p53-mediated repression of antioxidant response (AOR genes. Herein we report that Bmi1 expression progressively declines in the neurons of aging mouse and human brains. In old brains, p53 accumulates at the promoter of AOR genes, correlating with a repressed chromatin state, down-regulation of AOR genes, and increased oxidative damages to lipids and DNA. Comparative gene expression analysis further revealed that aging brains display an up-regulation of the senescence-associated genes IL-6, p19(Arf and p16(Ink4a, along with the pro-apoptotic gene Noxa, as seen in Bmi1-null mice. Increasing Bmi1 expression in cortical neurons conferred robust protection against DNA damage-induced cell death or mitochondrial poisoning, and resulted in suppression of ROS through activation of AOR genes. These observations unveil that Bmi1 genetic deficiency recapitulates aspects of physiological brain aging and that Bmi1 over-expression is a potential therapeutic modality against neurodegeneration.

  14. Neuropsin Expression Correlates with Dendritic Marker MAP2c Level in Different Brain Regions of Aging Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konar, Arpita; Thakur, M K

    2015-01-01

    Neuropsin (NP) is a serine protease, implicated in synaptic plasticity and memory acquisition through cleavage of synaptic adhesion molecule, L1CAM. However, NP has not been explored during brain aging that entails drastic deterioration of plasticity and memory with selective regional vulnerability. Therefore, we have analysed the expression of NP and correlated with its function via analysis of endogenous cleavage of L1CAM and level of dendritic marker MAP2c in different regions of the aging mouse brain. While NP expression gradually decreased in the cerebral cortex during aging, it showed a sharp rise in both olfactory bulb and hippocampus in adult and thereafter declined in old age. NP expression was moderate in young medulla, but undetectable in midbrain and cerebellum. It was positively correlated with L1CAM cleavage and MAP2c level in different brain regions during aging. Taken together, our study shows age-dependent regional variation in NP expression and its positive correlation with MAP2c level, suggesting the involvement of NP in MAP2c mediated alterations in dendritic morphology during aging.

  15. Caffeine reverses cognitive impairment and decreases brain amyloid-beta levels in aged Alzheimer's disease mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendash, Gary W; Mori, Takashi; Cao, Chuanhai; Mamcarz, Malgorzata; Runfeldt, Melissa; Dickson, Alexander; Rezai-Zadeh, Kavon; Tane, Jun; Citron, Bruce A; Lin, Xiaoyang; Echeverria, Valentina; Potter, Huntington

    2009-01-01

    We have recently shown that Alzheimer's disease (AD) transgenic mice given a moderate level of caffeine intake (the human equivalent of 5 cups of coffee per day) are protected from development of otherwise certain cognitive impairment and have decreased hippocampal amyloid-beta (Abeta) levels due to suppression of both beta-secretase (BACE1) and presenilin 1 (PS1)/gamma-secretase expression. To determine if caffeine intake can have beneficial effects in "aged" APPsw mice already demonstrating cognitive impairment, we administered caffeine in the drinking water of 18-19 month old APPsw mice that were impaired in working memory. At 4-5 weeks into caffeine treatment, those impaired transgenic mice given caffeine (Tg/Caff) exhibited vastly superior working memory compared to the continuing impairment of control transgenic mice. In addition, Tg/Caff mice had substantially reduced Abeta deposition in hippocampus (decrease 40%) and entorhinal cortex (decrease 46%), as well as correlated decreases in brain soluble Abeta levels. Mechanistically, evidence is provided that caffeine suppression of BACE1 involves the cRaf-1/NFkappaB pathway. We also determined that caffeine concentrations within human physiological range effectively reduce active and total glycogen synthase kinase 3 levels in SweAPP N2a cells. Even with pre-existing and substantial Abeta burden, aged APPsw mice exhibited memory restoration and reversal of AD pathology, suggesting a treatment potential of caffeine in cases of established AD.

  16. Effect of monoamine nervous transmitter and neuropeptide Y in the aged rats with myocardial injury after brain ischemia-reperfusion

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    AIM: To study the mechanism of myocardial injury after brain ischemia-reperfusion in aged rats from the changes in Dopamine (DA), Noradrenalin (NE), Epinephrine(E) and Neuropeptide Y(NPY).METHODS: Young (5 months) and aged (20 months or more) rats were divided into model groups and normal control groups, respectively. We observed the following items in rats with 60 minute reperfusion after 30 minute brain ischemia: the pathological changed of myocardium, the activities of lactic dehydrrogenase(LDH), creatine phosphokinase(CPK), the contents of NE, DA, E, NPY. RESULTS:The CPK and LDH activities in the young model rats were higher than those in the young control rats was higher than that in the young control rats (P<0.05). The serum CPK activity in the aged control rats was higher than that in the young control rats (P<0.05). The myocardial CPK activity was higher in the aged model rats compared with the young molel rats (P<0.05) and was higher in aged control rats compared with the young control rats (P<0.01). The myocardial LDH activity was lower in the aged control rats than that in the young control rats (P<0.05) and aged model rats (P<0.01). The serum NE level, the level of NE and DA in the hypothalamus were higher obviously than those in the young control rats. The serum NE contents in the two model groups (young and aged) were higher respectively than the two control rats (young and aged). The following items’ contents were higher in the aged model rats than in the young model rats: serum NE, serum E, hypothalamus NE. The hypothalamus NE and E content was lower in the aged model rats than in te aged control rats. NPY level in the brain tissue was lower in the aged control rats than that in the young control rats and aged model rats (P<0.05).CONCLUSION: The myocardial injury after brain ischemia-reperfusion was concerned with the enhanced excitability of sympathetic-adrenal system, espectially in the aged rats. However, the change in myocardial

  17. Activation of c-Jun-N-terminal kinase and decline of mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase activity during brain aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qiongqiong; Lam, Philip Y; Han, Derick; Cadenas, Enrique

    2009-04-02

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is often associated with aging and neurodegeneration. c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation and its translocation to mitochondria increased as a function of age in rat brain. This was associated with a decrease of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity upon phosphorylation of the E(1alpha) subunit of PDH. Phosphorylation of PDH is likely mediated by PDH kinase, the protein levels and activity of which increased with age. ATP levels were diminished, whereas lactic acid levels increased, thus indicating a shift toward anaerobic glycolysis. The energy transduction deficit due to impairment of PDH activity during aging may be associated with JNK signaling.

  18. Analysis of the protein network of cholesterol homeostasis in different brain regions: an age and sex dependent perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segatto, Marco; Di Giovanni, Annalaura; Marino, Maria; Pallottini, Valentina

    2013-07-01

    Although a great knowledge about the patho-physiological roles of cholesterol metabolism perturbation in several organs has been reached, scarce information is available on the regulation of cholesterol homeostasis in the brain where this lipid is involved in the maintenance of several of neuronal processes. Currently, no study is available in literature dealing how and if sex and age may modulate the major proteins involved in the regulatory network of cholesterol levels in different brain regions. Here, we investigated the behavior of 3-hydroxy 3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGR) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) in adult (3-month-old) and aged (12-month-old) male and female rats. The analyses were performed in four different brain regions: cortex, brain stem, hippocampus, and cerebellum which represent brain areas characterized by different neuronal cell types, metabolism, cytoarchitecture and white matter composition. The results show that in hippocampus HMGR is lower (30%) in adult female rats than in age-matched males. Differences in LDLr expression are also observable in old females with respect to age-matched males: the protein levels increase (40%) in hippocampus and decrease (20%) in cortex, displaying different mechanisms of regulation. The mechanism underlying the observed modifications are ascribable to Insig-1 and SREBP-1 modulation. The obtained data demonstrate that age- and sex-related differences in cholesterol homeostasis maintenance exist among brain regions, such as the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, important for learning, memory and affection. Some of these differences could be at the root of marked gender disparities observed in clinical disease incidence, manifestation, and prognosis.

  19. Age-dependent NOC/oFQ contribution to impaired hypotensive cerebral hemodynamics after brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstead, William M

    2002-10-01

    Previous studies have observed that the newly described opioid, nociceptin/orphanin FQ (NOC/oFQ), contributed to age dependent reductions in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and pial artery diameter after fluid percussion brain injury (FPI). Unrelated studies have noted a similar age dependency in impaired hypotensive cerebral autoregulation after FPI. This study was designed to compare the role of NOC/oFQ in impaired hypotensive cerebral autoregulation after FPI in newborn and juvenile pigs equipped with a closed cranial window. Ten minutes of hemorrhagic hypotension (10-15 mL blood/kg) decreased mean arterial blood pressure uniformly in both groups ( approximately 44%). In the newborn, hypotensive pial artery dilation was blunted within 1 h of FPI but partially protected by pretreatment with the NOC/oFQ antagonist, [F/G] NOC/oFQ (1-13) NH(2) (1 mg/kg, i.v.) (34 +/- 1 vs. 8 +/- 1 vs. 20 +/- 2% for sham control, FPI, and FPI-[F/G] NOC/oFQ (1-13) NH(2), respectively). CBF was reduced during normotension by FPI, further reduced by hypotension, but both were partially protected by this antagonist in the newborn (63 +/- 4, 34 +/- 2, and 20 +/- 2 vs. 65 +/- 4, 47 +/- 2, and 29 +/- 2 mL/min.100 g for normotension, normotension-FPI and hypotension-FPI in the absence and presence of [F/G] NOC/oFQ (1-13) NH(2), respectively). In contrast, blunted hypotensive pial artery dilation was protected significantly less by this NOC/oFQ antagonist in the juvenile (32 +/- 2 vs. 7 +/- 2 vs. 13 +/- 2% for sham control, FPI and FPI-NOC/oFQ antagonist, respectively). Similarly, [F/G] NOC/oFQ (1-13) NH(2) had less protective effect on normotensive and hypotensive CBF values post FPI in the juvenile. These data indicate that NOC/oFQ contributes to impaired hypotensive cerebral hemodynamics following brain injury in an age-dependent manner.

  20. In vivo NAD assay reveals the intracellular NAD contents and redox state in healthy human brain and their age dependences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiao-Hong; Lu, Ming; Lee, Byeong-Yeul; Ugurbil, Kamil; Chen, Wei

    2015-03-03

    NAD is an essential metabolite that exists in NAD(+) or NADH form in all living cells. Despite its critical roles in regulating mitochondrial energy production through the NAD(+)/NADH redox state and modulating cellular signaling processes through the activity of the NAD(+)-dependent enzymes, the method for quantifying intracellular NAD contents and redox state is limited to a few in vitro or ex vivo assays, which are not suitable for studying a living brain or organ. Here, we present a magnetic resonance (MR) -based in vivo NAD assay that uses the high-field MR scanner and is capable of noninvasively assessing NAD(+) and NADH contents and the NAD(+)/NADH redox state in intact human brain. The results of this study provide the first insight, to our knowledge, into the cellular NAD concentrations and redox state in the brains of healthy volunteers. Furthermore, an age-dependent increase of intracellular NADH and age-dependent reductions in NAD(+), total NAD contents, and NAD(+)/NADH redox potential of the healthy human brain were revealed in this study. The overall findings not only provide direct evidence of declined mitochondrial functions and altered NAD homeostasis that accompany the normal aging process but also, elucidate the merits and potentials of this new NAD assay for noninvasively studying the intracellular NAD metabolism and redox state in normal and diseased human brain or other organs in situ.

  1. Immune dysregulation and cognitive vulnerability in the aging brain: Interactions of microglia, IL-1β, BDNF and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Susan L

    2015-09-01

    Older individuals often experience declines in cognitive function after events (e.g. infection, or injury) that trigger activation of the immune system. This occurs at least in part because aging sensitizes the response of microglia (the brain's resident immune cells) to signals triggered by an immune challenge. In the aging brain, microglia respond to these signals by producing more pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. interleukin-1beta or IL-1β) and producing them for longer than microglia in younger brains. This exaggerated inflammatory response can compromise processes critical for optimal cognitive functioning. Interleukin-1β is central to the inflammatory response and is a key mediator and modulator of an array of associated biological functions; thus its production and release is usually very tightly regulated. This review will focus on the impact of dysregulated production of IL-1β on hippocampus dependent-memory systems and associated synaptic plasticity processes. The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) helps to protect neurons from damage caused by infection or injury, and it plays a critical role in many of the same memory and hippocampal plasticity processes compromised by dysregulated production of IL-1β. This suggests that an exaggerated brain inflammatory response, arising from aging and a secondary immune challenge, may erode the capacity to provide the BDNF needed for memory-related plasticity processes at hippocampal synapses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'.

  2. Effect of a water-maze procedure on the redox mechanisms in brain parts of aged rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krivova, Natalia A; Zaeva, Olga B; Grigorieva, Valery A

    2015-01-01

    The Morris water maze (MWM) is a tool for assessment of age-related modulations spatial learning and memory in laboratory rats. In our work was investigated the age-related decline of MWM performance in 11-month-old rats and the effect exerted by training in the MWM on the redox mechanisms in rat brain parts. Young adult (3-month-old) and aged (11-month-old) male rats were trained in the MWM. Intact animals of the corresponding age were used as the reference groups. The level of pro- and antioxidant capacity in brain tissue homogenates was assessed using the chemiluminescence method. A reduced performance in the MWM test was found in 11-month-old rats: at the first day of training they showed only 30% of successful MWM trials. However, at the last training day the percentage of successful trials was equal for young adult and aged animals. This indicates that the aged 11-month-old rats can successfully learn in MWM. Therewith, the MWM spatial learning procedure itself produces changes in different processes of redox homeostasis in 11-month-old and 3-month-old rats as compared to intact animals. Young adult rats showed a decrease in prooxidant capacity in all brain parts, while 11-month-old rats demonstrated an increase in antioxidant capacity in the olfactory bulb, pons + medulla oblongata and frontal lobe cortex. Hence, the MWM procedure activates the mechanisms that restrict the oxidative stress in brain parts. The obtained results may be an argument for further development of the animal training procedures aimed to activate the mechanisms that can prevent the age-related deterioration of performance in the learning test. This may be useful not only for the development of training procedures applicable to human patients with age-related cognitive impairments, but also for their rehabilitation.

  3. Redox proteomic profiling of neuroketal-adducted proteins in human brain: Regional vulnerability at middle age increases in the elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez, Mayelín; de Oliveira, Eliandre; Odena, María Antonia; Portero, Manuel; Pamplona, Reinald; Ferrer, Isidro

    2016-06-01

    Protein lipoxidation was assessed in the parietal cortex (PC), frontal cortex (FC), and cingulate gyrus (CG) in middle-aged and old-aged individuals with no clinical manifestations of cognitive impairment, in order to increase understanding of regional brain vulnerability to oxidative damage during aging. Twenty-five lipoxidized proteins were identified in all the three regions although with regional specificities, by using redox proteomics to detect target proteins of neuroketals (NKT) adduction. The number of cases with NKT-adducted proteins was higher in old-aged individuals but most oxidized proteins were already present in middle-aged individuals. Differences in vulnerability to oxidation were dependent on the sub-cellular localization, secondary structure, and external exposition of certain amino acids. Lipoxidized proteins included those involved in energy metabolism, cytoskeleton, proteostasis, neurotransmission and O2/CO2, and heme metabolism. Total NKT and soluble oligomer levels were estimated employing slot-blot, and these were compared between age groups. Oligomers increased with age in PC and FC; NKT significantly increased with age in FC, whereas total NKT and oligomer levels were not modified in CG, thus highlighting differences in brain regional vulnerability with age. Oligomers significantly correlated with NKT levels in the three cortical regions, suggesting that protein NKT adduction parallels soluble oligomer formation.

  4. The age-related deficit in LTP is associated with changes in perfusion and blood-brain barrier permeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blau, Christoph W; Cowley, Thelma R; O'Sullivan, Joan; Grehan, Belinda; Browne, Tara C; Kelly, Laura; Birch, Amy; Murphy, Niamh; Kelly, Aine M; Kerskens, Christian M; Lynch, Marina A

    2012-05-01

    In view of the increase in the aging population and the unavoidable parallel increase in the incidence of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, a key challenge in neuroscience is the identification of clinical signatures which change with age and impact on neuronal and cognitive function. Early diagnosis offers the possibility of early therapeutic intervention, thus magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is potentially a powerful diagnostic tool. We evaluated age-related changes in relaxometry, blood flow, and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability in the rat by magnetic resonance imaging and assessed these changes in the context of the age-related decrease in synaptic plasticity. We report that T2 relaxation time was decreased with age; this was coupled with a decrease in gray matter perfusion, suggesting that the observed microglial activation, as identified by increased expression of CD11b, MHCII, and CD68 by immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, or polymerase chain reaction (PCR), might be a downstream consequence of these changes. Increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier was observed in the perivascular area and the hippocampus of aged, compared with young, rats. Similarly there was an age-related increase in CD45-positive cells by flow cytometry, which are most likely infiltrating macrophages, with a parallel increase in the messenger mRNA expression of chemokines IP-10 and MCP-1. These combined changes may contribute to the deficit in long-term potentiation (LTP) in perforant path-granule cell synapses of aged animals.

  5. Neurovascular pathophysiology in cerebral ischemia, dementia and the ageing brain – current trends in basic, translational and clinical research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boltze Johannes

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The 7th International Symposium on Neuroprotection and Neurorepair was held from May 2nd to May 5th, 2012 in Potsdam, Germany. The symposium, which directly continues the successful Magdeburg meeting series, attracted over 330 colleagues from 29 countries to discuss recent findings and advances in the field. The focus of the 2012 symposium was widened from stroke and traumatic brain injury to neurodegenerative diseases, notably dementia, and more generally the ageing brain. Thereby, emphasis was given on neurovascular aspects of neurodegeneration and stroke including the blood–brain barrier, recent findings regarding the pathomechanism of Alzheimer’s disease, and brain imaging approaches. In addition, neurobiochemical aspects of neuroprotection, the role of astrogliosis, the clinical progress of cell-based approaches as well as translational hurdles and opportunities were discussed in-depth. This review summarizes some of the most stimulating discussions and reports from the meeting.

  6. White matter hyperintensities and normal-appearing white matter integrity in the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maniega, Susana Muñoz; Valdés Hernández, Maria C; Clayden, Jonathan D; Royle, Natalie A; Murray, Catherine; Morris, Zoe; Aribisala, Benjamin S; Gow, Alan J; Starr, John M; Bastin, Mark E; Deary, Ian J; Wardlaw, Joanna M

    2015-02-01

    White matter hyperintensities (WMH) of presumed vascular origin are a common finding in brain magnetic resonance imaging of older individuals and contribute to cognitive and functional decline. It is unknown how WMH form, although white matter degeneration is characterized pathologically by demyelination, axonal loss, and rarefaction, often attributed to ischemia. Changes within normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) in subjects with WMH have also been reported but have not yet been fully characterized. Here, we describe the in vivo imaging signatures of both NAWM and WMH in a large group of community-dwelling older people of similar age using biomarkers derived from magnetic resonance imaging that collectively reflect white matter integrity, myelination, and brain water content. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) were significantly lower, whereas mean diffusivity (MD) and longitudinal relaxation time (T1) were significantly higher, in WMH than NAWM (p < 0.0001), with MD providing the largest difference between NAWM and WMH. Receiver operating characteristic analysis on each biomarker showed that MD differentiated best between NAWM and WMH, identifying 94.6% of the lesions using a threshold of 0.747 × 10(-9) m(2)s(-1) (area under curve, 0.982; 95% CI, 0.975-0.989). Furthermore, the level of deterioration of NAWM was strongly associated with the severity of WMH, with MD and T1 increasing and FA and MTR decreasing in NAWM with increasing WMH score, a relationship that was sustained regardless of distance from the WMH. These multimodal imaging data indicate that WMH have reduced structural integrity compared with surrounding NAWM, and MD provides the best discriminator between the 2 tissue classes even within the mild range of WMH severity, whereas FA, MTR, and T1 only start reflecting significant changes in tissue microstructure as WMH become more severe.

  7. Biondi ring tangles in the choroid plexus of Alzheimer's disease and normal aging brains: a quantitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, G Y; Wisniewski, H M; Kascsak, R J

    1999-06-19

    The choroid plexus (CP) performs the vital function of producing up to 90% (450-1000 ml/day) of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to nourish and to protect the brain in the CSF suspension. The CP also acts as a selective barrier between blood and CSF to regulate ions and other essential molecules. However, the accumulation of intracellular inclusions called Biondi ring tangles (BRTs) in CP cells of Alzheimer's disease (AD)/aging brains may affect these vital functions of the CP. Statistical analysis of quantitative data on the numbers of CP cells containing BRTs from 54 brains (29 AD and 25 normal control), age range 1-100 years, indicated a significant difference (pbiomarker for AD in addition to NPs and NFTs.

  8. Estimating the brain pathological age of Alzheimer’s disease patients from MR image data based on the separability distance criterion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yongming; Li, Fan; Wang, Pin; Zhu, Xueru; Liu, Shujun; Qiu, Mingguo; Zhang, Jingna; Zeng, Xiaoping

    2016-10-01

    Traditional age estimation methods are based on the same idea that uses the real age as the training label. However, these methods ignore that there is a deviation between the real age and the brain age due to accelerated brain aging. This paper considers this deviation and searches for it by maximizing the separability distance value rather than by minimizing the difference between the estimated brain age and the real age. Firstly, set the search range of the deviation as the deviation candidates according to prior knowledge. Secondly, use the support vector regression (SVR) as the age estimation model to minimize the difference between the estimated age and the real age plus deviation rather than the real age itself. Thirdly, design the fitness function based on the separability distance criterion. Fourthly, conduct age estimation on the validation dataset using the trained age estimation model, put the estimated age into the fitness function, and obtain the fitness value of the deviation candidate. Fifthly, repeat the iteration until all the deviation candidates are involved and get the optimal deviation with maximum fitness values. The real age plus the optimal deviation is taken as the brain pathological age. The experimental results showed that the separability was apparently improved. For normal control-Alzheimer’s disease (NC-AD), normal control-mild cognition impairment (NC-MCI), and MCI-AD, the average improvements were 0.178 (35.11%), 0.033 (14.47%), and 0.017 (39.53%), respectively. For NC-MCI-AD, the average improvement was 0.2287 (64.22%). The estimated brain pathological age could be not only more helpful to the classification of AD but also more precisely reflect accelerated brain aging. In conclusion, this paper offers a new method for brain age estimation that can distinguish different states of AD and can better reflect the extent of accelerated aging.

  9. Whole-brain grey matter density predicts balance stability irrespective of age and protects older adults from falling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisgontier, Matthieu P; Cheval, Boris; van Ruitenbeek, Peter; Levin, Oron; Renaud, Olivier; Chanal, Julien; Swinnen, Stephan P

    2016-03-01

    Functional and structural imaging studies have demonstrated the involvement of the brain in balance control. Nevertheless, how decisive grey matter density and white matter microstructural organisation are in predicting balance stability, and especially when linked to the effects of ageing, remains unclear. Standing balance was tested on a platform moving at different frequencies and amplitudes in 30 young and 30 older adults, with eyes open and with eyes closed. Centre of pressure variance was used as an indicator of balance instability. The mean density of grey matter and mean white matter microstructural organisation were measured using voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging, respectively. Mixed-effects models were built to analyse the extent to which age, grey matter density, and white matter microstructural organisation predicted balance instability. Results showed that both grey matter density and age independently predicted balance instability. These predictions were reinforced when the level of difficulty of the conditions increased. Furthermore, grey matter predicted balance instability beyond age and at least as consistently as age across conditions. In other words, for balance stability, the level of whole-brain grey matter density is at least as decisive as being young or old. Finally, brain grey matter appeared to be protective against falls in older adults as age increased the probability of losing balance in older adults with low, but not moderate or high grey matter density. No such results were observed for white matter microstructural organisation, thereby reinforcing the specificity of our grey matter findings.

  10. The effect of caffeine on working memory load-­related brain activation in middle-­aged males

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaassen, Elissa; De Groot, Renate; Evers, Lisbeth; Snel, Jan; Veerman, Enno; Ligtenberg, Antoon; Jolles, Jelle; Veltman, Dick

    2012-01-01

    Klaassen, E. B., De Groot, R. H. M., Evers, E. A. T., Snel, J., Veerman, E. C. I., Ligtenberg, A. J. M., Jolles, J., & Veltman, D. J. (2013). The effect of caffeine on working memory load-related brain activation in middle-aged male. Neuropharmacology, 64, 160-167. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.06.0

  11. Inadequate supply of vitamins and DHA in the elderly: implications for brain aging and Alzheimer-type dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohajeri, M Hasan; Troesch, Barbara; Weber, Peter

    2015-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent, severe, and disabling cause of dementia worldwide. To date, AD therapy is primarily targeted toward palliative treatment of symptoms rather than prevention of disease progression. So far, no pharmacologic interventions have changed the onset or progression of AD and their use is accompanied by side effects. The major obstacle in managing AD and designing therapeutic strategies is the difficulty in retarding neuronal loss in the diseased brain once the pathologic events leading to neuronal death have started. Therefore, a promising alternative strategy is to maintain a healthy neuronal population in the aging brain for as long as possible. One factor evidently important for neuronal health and function is the optimal supply of nutrients necessary for maintaining normal functioning of the brain. Mechanistic studies, epidemiologic analyses, and randomized controlled intervention trials provide insight to the positive effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and micronutrients such as the vitamin B family, and vitamins E, C, and D, in helping neurons to cope with aging. These nutrients are inexpensive in use, have virtually no side effects when used at recommended doses, are essential for life, have established modes of action, and are broadly accepted by the general public. This review provides some evidence that the use of vitamins and DHA for the aging population in general, and for individuals at risk in particular, is a viable alternative approach to delaying brain aging and for protecting against the onset of AD pathology.

  12. Sources of Variability in Working Memory in Early Childhood: A Consideration of Age, Temperament, Language, and Brain Electrical Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Christy D.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated age-related differences in working memory and inhibitory control (WMIC) in 3 1/2-, 4-, and 4 1/2-year-olds and how these differences were associated with differences in regulatory aspects of temperament, language comprehension, and brain electrical activity. A series of cognitive control tasks was administered to measure…

  13. Microglial Dystrophy in the Aged and Alzheimer's Disease Brain Is Associated with Ferritin Immunoreactivity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KRYSLAINE O.LOPES; D.LARRY SPARKS; WOLFGANG J.STREIT

    2008-01-01

    小胶质细胞变性对认识衰老相关的神经退变和神经退行性疾病的发病机制非常重要.本研究通过铁蛋白免疫组织化学方法来分析非痴呆和阿茨海默病患者大脑中的小胶质细胞形态特征.作者的主要假设为,铁储存蛋白-铁蛋白的表达提高小胶质细胞对退化的敏感性,尤其是在老年大脑中,因为衰老的小胶质细胞越来越无力维持铁环境稳定,而游离铁可促进氧化损伤.在24例34-97岁的病例中,小胶质细胞对铁蛋白的免疫反应被发现组成一个较大的HLA-DR抗体标记的小胶质细胞池.在老年尤其是AD大脑中,铁蛋白阳性的大部分小胶质细胞呈现出异常的形态学变化,即营养不良.铁蛋白阳性的营养不良小胶质细胞和AD组织中的老年斑之间并未发现空间相关性.对平均死亡时间(10.94±5.69)h的人脑组织的研究显示,小胶质细胞营养不良的出现不依赖于死亡时间,因而不是组织自溶的产物.这些结果均提示,包含铁储存和新陈代谢的小胶质细胞的变性可能是通过其高暴露于氧化应激.作者推论,铁蛋白免疫组织化学法可能是检测人脑小胶质细胞退行性变的有效方法.%Degeneration of microglial cells may be important for understanding the pathogenesis of aging-related neurodegeneration and neurodegenerative diseases. In this study,we analyzed the morphological characteristics of microglial cells in the nondemented and Alzheimer's disease(AD)human brain using ferritin immunohistochemistry. The central hypothesis was that expression of the iron storage protein ferritin increases the susceptibility of microglia to degeneration,particularly in the aged brain since senescent microglia might become less efficient in maintaining iron homeostasis and free iron can promote oxidative damage. In a primary set of 24 subjects(age range 34-97 years)examined,microglial cells immunoreactive for ferritin were found to constitute a

  14. Don’t Lose Your Brain at Work – The Role of Recurrent Novelty at Work in Cognitive and Brain Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oltmanns, Jan; Godde, Ben; Winneke, Axel H.; Richter, Götz; Niemann, Claudia; Voelcker-Rehage, Claudia; Schömann, Klaus; Staudinger, Ursula M.

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive and brain aging is strongly influenced by everyday settings such as work demands. Long-term exposure to low job complexity, for instance, has detrimental effects on cognitive functioning and regional gray matter (GM) volume. Brain and cognition, however, are also characterized by plasticity. We postulate that the experience of novelty (at work) is one important trigger of plasticity. We investigated the cumulative effect of recurrent exposure to work-task changes (WTC) at low levels of job complexity on GM volume and cognitive functioning of middle-aged production workers across a time window of 17 years. In a case-control study, we found that amount of WTC was associated with better processing speed and working memory as well as with more GM volume in brain regions that have been associated with learning and that show pronounced age-related decline. Recurrent novelty at work may serve as an ‘in vivo’ intervention that helps counteracting debilitating long-term effects of low job complexity. PMID:28220095

  15. Deciphering interactions in moving animal groups.

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    Jacques Gautrais

    Full Text Available Collective motion phenomena in large groups of social organisms have long fascinated the observer, especially in cases, such as bird flocks or fish schools, where large-scale highly coordinated actions emerge in the absence of obvious leaders. However, the mechanisms involved in this self-organized behavior are still poorly understood, because the individual-level interactions underlying them remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate the power of a bottom-up methodology to build models for animal group motion from data gathered at the individual scale. Using video tracks of fish shoal in a tank, we show how a careful, incremental analysis at the local scale allows for the determination of the stimulus/response function governing an individual's moving decisions. We find in particular that both positional and orientational effects are present, act upon the fish turning speed, and depend on the swimming speed, yielding a novel schooling model whose parameters are all estimated from data. Our approach also leads to identify a density-dependent effect that results in a behavioral change for the largest groups considered. This suggests that, in confined environment, the behavioral state of fish and their reaction patterns change with group size. We debate the applicability, beyond the particular case studied here, of this novel framework for deciphering interactions in moving animal groups.

  16. Nutrition and brain aging: role of fatty acids with an epidemiological perspective

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    Samieri Cécilia

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available In the absence of identified etiologic treatment for dementia, the potential preventive role of nutrition may offer an interesting perspective. The objective of the thesis of C. Samieri was to study the association between nutrition and brain aging in 1,796 subjects, aged 65 y or older, from the Bordeaux sample of the Three-City study, with a particular emphasis on fatty acids. Considering the multidimensional nature of nutritional data, several complementary strategies were used. At the global diet level, dietary patterns actually observed in the population were identified by exploratory methods. Older subjects with a ‘‘healthy’’ pattern, who consumed more than 3.5 weekly servings of fish in men and more than 6 daily servings of fruits and vegetables in women, showed a better cognitive and psychological health. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet, measured according to a score-based confirmatory method, was associated with slower global cognitive decline after 5 y of follow-up. At the nutrient biomarker level, higher plasma eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid, was associated with a decreased dementia risk, and the omega-6-to-omega-3 fatty acids ratio to an increased risk, particularly in depressed subjects. EPA was also related to slower working memory decline in depressed subjects or in carriers of the e4 allele of the ApoE gene. Docosahexaenoic acid was related to slower working memory decline only in ApoE4 carriers. Overall, this work suggests a positive impact of a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and fish, and notably the Mediterranean diet, on cognition in older subjects. Long-chain n-3 PUFA, in particular EPA, may be key protective nutrients against risk of dementia and cognitive decline.

  17. Aluminium, iron and copper in human brain tissues donated to the Medical Research Council's Cognitive Function and Ageing Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    House, Emily; Esiri, Margaret; Forster, Gill; Ince, Paul G; Exley, Christopher

    2012-01-01

    Aluminium, iron and copper are all implicated in the aetiology of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease. However, there are very few large cohort studies of the content of these metals in aged human brains. We have used microwave digestion and TH GFAAS to measure aluminium, iron and copper in the temporal, frontal, occipital and parietal lobes of 60 brains donated to the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study. Every precaution was taken to reduce contamination of samples and acid digests to a minimum. Actual contamination was estimated by preparing a large number of (170+) method blanks which were interspersed within the full set of 700+ tissue digests. Subtraction of method blank values (MBV) from tissue digest values resulted in metal contents in all tissues in the range, MBV to 33 μg g(-1) dry wt. for aluminium, 112 to 8305 μg g(-1) dry wt. for iron and MBV to 384 μg g(-1) dry wt. for copper. While the median aluminium content for all tissues was 1.02 μg g(-1) dry wt. it was informative that 41 brains out of 60 included at least one tissue with an aluminium content which could be considered as potentially pathological (> 3.50 μg g(-1) dry wt.). The median content for iron was 286.16 μg g(-1) dry wt. and overall tissue iron contents were generally high which possibly reflected increased brain iron in ageing and in neurodegenerative disease. The median content for copper was 17.41 μg g(-1) dry wt. and overall tissue copper contents were lower than expected for aged brains but they were commensurate with aged brains showing signs of neurodegenerative disease. In this study we have shown, in particular, the value of carrying out significant numbers of method blanks to identify unknown sources of contamination. When these values are subtracted from tissue digest values the absolute metal contents could be considered as conservative and yet they may still reflect aspects of ageing and neurodegenerative disease in individual brains.

  18. Improved mitochondrial function in brain aging and Alzheimer disease - the new mechanism of action of the old metabolic enhancer piracetam

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    Kristina Leuner

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Piracetam, the prototype of the so-called nootropic drugs’ is used since many years in different countries to treat cognitive impairment in aging and dementia. Findings that piracetam enhances fluidity of brain mitochondrial membranes led to the hypothesis that piracetam might improve mitochondrial function, e.g. might enhance ATP synthesis. This assumption has recently been supported by a number of observations showing enhanced mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP, enhanced ATP production, and reduced sensitivity for apoptosis in a variety of cell and animal models for aging and Alzheimer disease (AD. As a specific consequence, substantial evidence for elevated neuronal plasticity as a specific effect of piracetam has emerged. Taken together, these new findings can explain many of the therapeutic effects of piracetam on cognition in aging and dementia as well as different situations of brain dysfunctions.

  19. Should Alzheimer's disease be equated with human brain ageing? A maladaptive interaction between brain evolution and senescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neill, David

    2012-01-01

    In this review Alzheimer's disease is seen as a maladaptive interaction between human brain evolution and senescence. It is predicted to occur in everyone although does not necessarily lead to dementia. The pathological process is initiated in relation to a senescence mediated functional down-regulation in the posteromedial cortex (Initiation Phase). This leads to a loss of glutamatergic excitatory input to layer II entorhinal cortex neurons. A human specific maladaptive neuroplastic response is initiated in these neurons leading to neuronal dysfunction, NFT formation and death. This leads to further loss of glutamatergic excitatory input and propagation of the maladaptive response along excitatory pathways linking evolutionary progressed vulnerable neurons (Propagation Phase). Eventually neurons are affected in many brain areas resulting in dementia. Possible therapeutic approaches include enhancing glutamatergic transmission. The theory may have implications with regards to how Alzheimer's disease is classified.

  20. Influence of age and cognitive performance on resting-state brain networks of older adults in a population-based cohort

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jockwitz, C.; Caspers, S.; Lux, S.; Eickhoff, S.B.; Jü tten, K.; Lenzen, S.; Moebus, S.; Pundt, N.; Reid, A.T.; Hoffstaedter, F.; Jö ckel, K.H.; Erbel, R.; Cichon, S.; Nö then, M.M.; Shah, N.J.; Zilles, K.; Amunts, K.

    2017-01-01

    Aging leads to global changes in brain structure and cognitive performance, with reorganization of functional brain networks. Importantly, these age-related changes show higher inter-individual variability in older subjects. To particularly address this variability is a challenge for studies on life

  1. Functional metagenomics to decipher food-microbe-host crosstalk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larraufie, Pierre; de Wouters, Tomas; Potocki-Veronese, Gabrielle; Blottière, Hervé M; Doré, Joël

    2015-02-01

    The recent developments of metagenomics permit an extremely high-resolution molecular scan of the intestinal microbiota giving new insights and opening perspectives for clinical applications. Beyond the unprecedented vision of the intestinal microbiota given by large-scale quantitative metagenomics studies, such as the EU MetaHIT project, functional metagenomics tools allow the exploration of fine interactions between food constituents, microbiota and host, leading to the identification of signals and intimate mechanisms of crosstalk, especially between bacteria and human cells. Cloning of large genome fragments, either from complex intestinal communities or from selected bacteria, allows the screening of these biological resources for bioactivity towards complex plant polymers or functional food such as prebiotics. This permitted identification of novel carbohydrate-active enzyme families involved in dietary fibre and host glycan breakdown, and highlighted unsuspected bacterial players at the top of the intestinal microbial food chain. Similarly, exposure of fractions from genomic and metagenomic clones onto human cells engineered with reporter systems to track modulation of immune response, cell proliferation or cell metabolism has allowed the identification of bioactive clones modulating key cell signalling pathways or the induction of specific genes. This opens the possibility to decipher mechanisms by which commensal bacteria or candidate probiotics can modulate the activity of cells in the intestinal epithelium or even in distal organs such as the liver, adipose tissue or the brain. Hence, in spite of our inability to culture many of the dominant microbes of the human intestine, functional metagenomics open a new window for the exploration of food-microbe-host crosstalk.

  2. Integrated Analysis and Visualization of Group Differences in Structural and Functional Brain Connectivity: Applications in Typical Ageing and Schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyn D Langen

    Full Text Available Structural and functional brain connectivity are increasingly used to identify and analyze group differences in studies of brain disease. This study presents methods to analyze uni- and bi-modal brain connectivity and evaluate their ability to identify differences. Novel visualizations of significantly different connections comparing multiple metrics are presented. On the global level, "bi-modal comparison plots" show the distribution of uni- and bi-modal group differences and the relationship between structure and function. Differences between brain lobes are visualized using "worm plots". Group differences in connections are examined with an existing visualization, the "connectogram". These visualizations were evaluated in two proof-of-concept studies: (1 middle-aged versus elderly subjects; and (2 patients with schizophrenia versus controls. Each included two measures derived from diffusion weighted images and two from functional magnetic resonance images. The structural measures were minimum cost path between two anatomical regions according to the "Statistical Analysis of Minimum cost path based Structural Connectivity" method and the average fractional anisotropy along the fiber. The functional measures were Pearson's correlation and partial correlation of mean regional time series. The relationship between structure and function was similar in both studies. Uni-modal group differences varied greatly between connectivity types. Group differences were identified in both studies globally, within brain lobes and between regions. In the aging study, minimum cost path was highly effective in identifying group differences on all levels; fractional anisotropy and mean correlation showed smaller differences on the brain lobe and regional levels. In the schizophrenia study, minimum cost path and fractional anisotropy showed differences on the global level and within brain lobes; mean correlation showed small differences on the lobe level. Only

  3. [Can age-dependent cognitive functions be measured? P300 potentials--concept of brain aging--early diagnosis of dementia processes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kügler, C

    1996-10-10

    Event related P300 potentials as the electrophysiological substrate of cognitive functions, such as the stimulus processing time (P300 latencies) and visual attention capacity (P300 amplitudes) are suitable for the analysis of age-related changes in cognitive human brain functions. P300 investigations carried out in a total of 330 test subjects aged between 18 and 98 years, showed an overall slight prolongation of the P300 latencies by 10 ms for each decade, as well as a discrete reduction in the P300 amplitudes of 1 microV. To describe the relationship between the P300 parameters and chronological age, polynomial regression models are more suitable than linear functions. This means that in middle-age, P300 potentials change only slightly while, from about the age of 60 upwards, a noticeable acceleration in the P300 changes takes place. An interesting observation was the fact that the acceleration in the P300 latency increase occurred some 10 years earlier in women than in men, beginning in the early postmenopausal period. The polynomial course of the regression function for the age-dependence of P300 potentials might reflect the positive influence of socio-cultural factors on the aging of cognitive functions. The true extent of the age-related changes in cognitive functions, however, can be determined only with the aid of intra-individual longitudinal studies. This is of considerable importance for the early diagnosis of both metabolic and primarily degenerative encephalopathies.

  4. Extensive innate immune gene activation accompanies brain aging, increasing vulnerability to cognitive decline and neurodegeneration: a microarray study

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    Cribbs David H

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study undertakes a systematic and comprehensive analysis of brain gene expression profiles of immune/inflammation-related genes in aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Methods In a well-powered microarray study of young (20 to 59 years, aged (60 to 99 years, and AD (74 to 95 years cases, gene responses were assessed in the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, superior frontal gyrus, and post-central gyrus. Results Several novel concepts emerge. First, immune/inflammation-related genes showed major changes in gene expression over the course of cognitively normal aging, with the extent of gene response far greater in aging than in AD. Of the 759 immune-related probesets interrogated on the microarray, approximately 40% were significantly altered in the SFG, PCG and HC with increasing age, with the majority upregulated (64 to 86%. In contrast, far fewer immune/inflammation genes were significantly changed in the transition to AD (approximately 6% of immune-related probesets, with gene responses primarily restricted to the SFG and HC. Second, relatively few significant changes in immune/inflammation genes were detected in the EC either in aging or AD, although many genes in the EC showed similar trends in responses as in the other brain regions. Third, immune/inflammation genes undergo gender-specific patterns of response in aging and AD, with the most pronounced differences emerging in aging. Finally, there was widespread upregulation of genes reflecting activation of microglia and perivascular macrophages in the aging brain, coupled with a downregulation of select factors (TOLLIP, fractalkine that when present curtail microglial/macrophage activation. Notably, essentially all pathways of the innate immune system were upregulated in aging, including numerous complement components, genes involved in toll-like receptor signaling and inflammasome signaling, as well as genes coding for immunoglobulin (Fc receptors and human

  5. Therapeutics with SPION-labeled stem cells for the main diseases related to brain aging: a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvarim LT

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Larissa T Alvarim,1,3,* Leopoldo P Nucci,2,* Javier B Mamani,1 Luciana C Marti,1 Marina F Aguiar,1,2 Helio R Silva,1,3 Gisele S Silva,1 Mariana P Nucci-da-Silva,4 Elaine A DelBel,5,6 Lionel F Gamarra1–31Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil; 2Universidade Federal de São Paulo, UNIFESP, São Paulo, Brazil; 3Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 4Departamento de Radiologia, Hospital das Clínicas, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil; 5Universidade de São Paulo-Faculdade de Odontologia de Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil; 6NAPNA- Núcleo de Apoio a Pesquisa em Neurociências Aplicadas, São Paulo, Brazil*These authors contributed equally to this workAbstract: The increase in clinical trials assessing the efficacy of cell therapy for structural and functional regeneration of the nervous system in diseases related to the aging brain is well known. However, the results are inconclusive as to the best cell type to be used or the best methodology for the homing of these stem cells. This systematic review analyzed published data on SPION (superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle-labeled stem cells as a therapy for brain diseases, such as ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and dementia. This review highlights the therapeutic role of stem cells in reversing the aging process and the pathophysiology of brain aging, as well as emphasizing nanotechnology as an important tool to monitor stem cell migration in affected regions of the brain.Keywords: iron oxide, dementia, stem cell, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, sclerosis disease, brain aging

  6. Age-dependent brain gene expression and copy number anomalies in autism suggest distinct pathological processes at young versus mature ages.

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    Maggie L Chow

    Full Text Available Autism is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder, yet the genetic underpinnings of the disorder are largely unknown. Aberrant brain overgrowth is a well-replicated observation in the autism literature; but association, linkage, and expression studies have not identified genetic factors that explain this trajectory. Few studies have had sufficient statistical power to investigate whole-genome gene expression and genotypic variation in the autistic brain, especially in regions that display the greatest growth abnormality. Previous functional genomic studies have identified possible alterations in transcript levels of genes related to neurodevelopment and immune function. Thus, there is a need for genetic studies involving key brain regions to replicate these findings and solidify the role of particular functional pathways in autism pathogenesis. We therefore sought to identify abnormal brain gene expression patterns via whole-genome analysis of mRNA levels and copy number variations (CNVs in autistic and control postmortem brain samples. We focused on prefrontal cortex tissue where excess neuron numbers and cortical overgrowth are pronounced in the majority of autism cases. We found evidence for dysregulation in pathways governing cell number, cortical patterning, and differentiation in young autistic prefrontal cortex. In contrast, adult autistic prefrontal cortex showed dysregulation of signaling and repair pathways. Genes regulating cell cycle also exhibited autism-specific CNVs in DNA derived from prefrontal cortex, and these genes were significantly associated with autism in genome-wide association study datasets. Our results suggest that CNVs and age-dependent gene expression changes in autism may reflect distinct pathological processes in the developing versus the mature autistic prefrontal cortex. Our results raise the hypothesis that genetic dysregulation in the developing brain leads to abnormal regional patterning, excess

  7. Age-dependent brain gene expression and copy number anomalies in autism suggest distinct pathological processes at young versus mature ages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Maggie L; Pramparo, Tiziano; Winn, Mary E; Barnes, Cynthia Carter; Li, Hai-Ri; Weiss, Lauren; Fan, Jian-Bing; Murray, Sarah; April, Craig; Belinson, Haim; Fu, Xiang-Dong; Wynshaw-Boris, Anthony; Schork, Nicholas J; Courchesne, Eric

    2012-01-01

    Autism is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder, yet the genetic underpinnings of the disorder are largely unknown. Aberrant brain overgrowth is a well-replicated observation in the autism literature; but association, linkage, and expression studies have not identified genetic factors that explain this trajectory. Few studies have had sufficient statistical power to investigate whole-genome gene expression and genotypic variation in the autistic brain, especially in regions that display the greatest growth abnormality. Previous functional genomic studies have identified possible alterations in transcript levels of genes related to neurodevelopment and immune function. Thus, there is a need for genetic studies involving key brain regions to replicate these findings and solidify the role of particular functional pathways in autism pathogenesis. We therefore sought to identify abnormal brain gene expression patterns via whole-genome analysis of mRNA levels and copy number variations (CNVs) in autistic and control postmortem brain samples. We focused on prefrontal cortex tissue where excess neuron numbers and cortical overgrowth are pronounced in the majority of autism cases. We found evidence for dysregulation in pathways governing cell number, cortical patterning, and differentiation in young autistic prefrontal cortex. In contrast, adult autistic prefrontal cortex showed dysregulation of signaling and repair pathways. Genes regulating cell cycle also exhibited autism-specific CNVs in DNA derived from prefrontal cortex, and these genes were significantly associated with autism in genome-wide association study datasets. Our results suggest that CNVs and age-dependent gene expression changes in autism may reflect distinct pathological processes in the developing versus the mature autistic prefrontal cortex. Our results raise the hypothesis that genetic dysregulation in the developing brain leads to abnormal regional patterning, excess prefrontal neurons

  8. Methylene blue improves sensorimotor phenotype and decreases anxiety in parallel with activating brain mitochondria biogenesis in mid-age mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gureev, Artem P; Syromyatnikov, Mikhail Yu; Gorbacheva, Tatyana M; Starkov, Anatoly A; Popov, Vasily N

    2016-12-01

    Age-related brain dysfunctions are associated with mitochondria malfunctions and increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases (ND). Recently, a mitochondria-targeting drug methylene blue has been drawing considerable interest as a potential treatment for ND. We found that aged mice manifested a decrease in physical endurance, spontaneous locomotor activity, and exploration concomitant with an increase in anxiety-related behavior, as compared to adult mice. Treating mice for 60 days with MB slowed down these changes. There were no significant changes in the animals' body weight, oxygen consumption rates, or respiratory quotient index, in adult or aged MB-treated mice. However, MB treatment significantly increased the generation of reactive oxygen species in brain mitochondria. The expression of several genes relevant to mitochondria biogenesis, bioenergetics, and antioxidant defense (NRF1, MTCOX1, TFAM, and SOD2) was greatly suppressed in aged mice; it was restored by MB treatment. It seems plausible that the effects of MB could be mediated by its ability to increase H2O2 production in brain mitochondria, thereby activating Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway and mitochondria biogenesis. Our data and earlier findings support the idea that MB can be an attractive prototype drug for developing safe and efficient gerontoprotective compounds.

  9. Age-related changes of the corticospinal tract in the human brain A diffusion tensor imaging study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sung Ho Jang; Sang-Hyun Cho; Mi Young Lee; Yong Hyun Kwon; Min Cheul Chang

    2011-01-01

    The corticospinal tract (CST) is one of the most important neural tracts for motor function in the human brain. Little is known about age-related changes of the CST. In this study, we tried to evaluate age-related changes of the CST using diffusion tensor imaging in 60 healthy subjects. The diffusion tensor imaging result revealed that the tract number and fractional anisotropy value were decreased, and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) value was increased with aging. The distribution showed a semilog pattern for tract number, fractional anisotropy and ADC of the CST, and the pattern of each graph was near-linear. When compared with the diffusion tensor imaging parameters of subjects in the 20 s age group, tract number and fractional anisotropy values were significantly decreased in the 50 s–70 s age groups. Likewise, the ADC value was significantly higher in the 50 s–70 s age groups. The CST in the brain of normal subjects degenerated continuously from the 20 s to the 70 s, with a near-linear pattern, and degeneration of the CST began to manifest significantly in the subjects in their 50 s, compared with the subjects in their 20 s.

  10. Decline in cytochrome c oxidase activity in rat-brain mitochondria with aging. Role of peroxidized cardiolipin and beneficial effect of melatonin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrosillo, Giuseppe; De Benedictis, Valentina; Ruggiero, Francesca M; Paradies, Giuseppe

    2013-10-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are considered a key factor in mitochondrial dysfunction associated with brain aging process. Mitochondrial respiration is an important source of ROS and hence a potential contributor to brain functional changes with aging. In this study, we examined the effect of aging on cytochrome c oxidase activity and other bioenergetic processes such as oxygen consumption, membrane potential and ROS production in rat brain mitochondria. We found a significant age-dependent decline in the cytochrome c oxidase activity which was associated with parallel changes in state 3 respiration, membrane potential and with an increase in H2O2 generation. The cytochrome aa3 content was practically unchanged in mitochondria from young and aged animals. The age-dependent decline of cytochrome c oxidase activity could be restored, in situ, to the level of young animals, by exogenously added cardiolipin. In addition, exposure of brain mitochondria to peroxidized cardiolipin resulted in an inactivation of this enzyme complex. It is suggested that oxidation/depletion of cardiolipin could be responsible, at least in part, for the decline of cytochrome c oxidase and mitochondrial dysfunction in brain aging. Melatonin treatment of old animals largely prevented the age-associated alterations of mitochondrial bioenergetic parameters. These results may prove useful in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying mitochondrial dysfunction associated with brain aging process, and may have implications in etiopathology of age-associated neurodegenerative disorders and in the development of potential treatment strategies.

  11. Toluene effects on oxidative stress in brain regions of young-adult, middle-age, and senescent Brown Norway rats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kodavanti, Prasada Rao S., E-mail: kodavanti.prasada@epa.gov [Neurotoxicology Branch, Toxicity Assessment Division, NHEERL, ORD, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States); Royland, Joyce E. [Genetic and Cellular Toxicology Branch, Integrated Systems Toxicology Division, NHEERL, ORD, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States); Richards, Judy E. [Research Core Unit, NHEERL, ORD, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States); Besas, Jonathan; MacPhail, Robert C. [Neurotoxicology Branch, Toxicity Assessment Division, NHEERL, ORD, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States)

    2011-11-15

    The influence of aging on susceptibility to environmental contaminants is not well understood. To extend knowledge in this area, we examined effects in rat brain of the volatile organic compound, toluene. The objective was to test whether oxidative stress (OS) plays a role in the adverse effects caused by toluene exposure, and if so, if effects are age-dependent. OS parameters were selected to measure the production of reactive oxygen species (NADPH Quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), NADH Ubiquinone reductase (UBIQ-RD)), antioxidant homeostasis (total antioxidant substances (TAS), superoxide dismutase (SOD), {gamma}-glutamylcysteine synthetase ({gamma}-GCS), glutathione transferase (GST), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), glutathione reductase (GRD)), and oxidative damage (total aconitase and protein carbonyls). In this study, Brown Norway rats (4, 12, and 24 months) were dosed orally with toluene (0, 0.65 or 1 g/kg) in corn oil. Four hours later, frontal cortex, cerebellum, striatum, and hippocampus were dissected, quick frozen on dry ice, and stored at - 80 Degree-Sign C until analysis. Some parameters of OS were found to increase with age in select brain regions. Toluene exposure also resulted in increased OS in select brain regions. For example, an increase in NQO1 activity was seen in frontal cortex and cerebellum of 4 and 12 month old rats following toluene exposure, but only in the hippocampus of 24 month old rats. Similarly, age and toluene effects on glutathione enzymes were varied and brain-region specific. Markers of oxidative damage reflected changes in oxidative stress. Total aconitase activity was increased by toluene in frontal cortex and cerebellum at 12 and 24 months, respectively. Protein carbonyls in both brain regions and in all age groups were increased by toluene, but step-down analyses indicated toluene effects were statistically significant only in 12 month old rats. These results indicate changes in OS parameters with age and toluene exposure

  12. Biliverdin Reductase-A correlates with inducible nitric oxide synthasein in atorvastatin treated aged canine brain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fabio Di Domenico; Marzia Perluigi; Eugenio Barone

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive cognitive impairment and neuropathology. Recent preclinical and epidemiological studies proposed statins as a possible therapeutic drug for Alzheimer’s disease, but the exact mechanisms of action are stil unknown. Biliverdin reductase-A is a pleiotropic enzyme involved in cel ular stress responses. It not only transforms biliverdin-IX alpha into the antioxidant bilirubin-IX al