This special feature keeps the brain fit into old age
Some people are over the age of 80 mentally fit than others who are 20 to 30 years younger. In the English-speaking world, such people are called SuperAgers designated. Now a research team has been able to unravel the secret of these senior citizens, whose brains remain powerful even in old age.
researchers of Northwestern University in Chicago (USA) have found that the brains of old people with strong cognition clearly larger neurons in the brain region responsible for the memory responsible for. The results were recently published in the “Journal of Neuroscience” presented.
SuperAgers exhibit unique brain signatures
SuperAgers are people who are over 80 years old and still over one extraordinary memory feature. The Northwestern University research group has now shown that the brains of these mentally fit seniors have a unique signature.
Larger neurons kept the brain fit
All of the SuperAgers whose brains were examined after their deaths had larger and healthier neurons, according to the study entorhinal cortex – a brain region important for memory. In addition, this region was largely free of the SuperAgers dew clumpsassociated with the emergence of Alzheimer keep in touch.
The team compared the SuperAger brains with those of seniors of the same age, with those 20 to 30 years younger and with the brains of people affected by Alzheimer’s.
“The remarkable observation that SuperAgers had even larger neurons than younger humans might indicate that the large cells were present from birth and their structure is maintained throughout life.”concludes study lead author Tamar Gefen.
According to her, larger neurons in the brain could indicate from birth that a person mentally fit into old age remains.
Protection against memory impairment and Alzheimer’s
In addition, the larger neurons appear a Resistance to Alzheimer’s disease to offer. According to the working group, the entorhinal cortex of the brain controls memory. In Alzheimer’s, this region is particularly badly affected.
New insights into the development of Alzheimer’s
According to the study, for reasons that are still unknown, deposits of tau proteins first accumulate in the entorhinal cortex during normal aging and particularly in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
“In this study, we show that in Alzheimer’s disease, the shrinkage of neurons (atrophy) in the entorhinal cortex appears to be a hallmark of the disease.”emphasizes Gefen.
The working group therefore suspects that the formation of tau deposits is related to the shrinkage of neurons in the entorhinal cortex, which ultimately causes poorer memory performance.
New approach to preventing Alzheimer’s
In future studies, the research team hopes to shed more light on how and why neuronal integrity is preserved in SuperAgers. The scientists involved hope that the discovered biological properties will contribute to Prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s let use. (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of medical specialist literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
- Northwestern University: SuperAger brains contain ‘super neurons’ (published: 2022-09-30), news.northwestern.edu
- Tamar Gefen, Caren Nassif, Allegra Kawles, Ivan Ayala, et al.: Integrity of neuronal size in the entorhinal cortex is a biologic substrate of exceptional cognitive aging; in: The Journal of Neuroscience (2022), jneurosci.org
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