Although we don’t like it, but agingorganisms over time is inevitable. It affects all organs and the brain - no exception. As they age, the connections between neurons gradually weaken. In fact, throughout life, this most complex organ changes more than any other part of the body. Many older people have difficulty remembering names, numbers, new information in general, and multitasking. This is because with age, neural connections in areas of the brain that are involved in learning and performing more complex tasks become weaker, which leads to slow processing of information. However, even despite aging, today there is more and more evidence that the brain is “plastic” and is able to adapt to changes.
- 1 Reasons why the most complex organ of the human body is aging
- 2 DNA damage
- 3 Violation of the functioning of their own immunity of the central nervous system
- 4 Violation of protein processing
Reasons why the most complex organ of the human body is aging
Brain aging cannot be seen simply by looking inmirror. The brain changes in an imperceptible but measurable way as we get older. When a person is born, many neurons are contained in his brain, but the number of connections between them is insignificant. As they grow older, a large number of neural connections form, and with age they begin to weaken. But what exactly causes these changes? Today, there are many different theories about why neurons and cells in general age. We offer you to get acquainted with the three most famous theories about the causes of brain aging.
Changes in gene expression - a process in progresswhich hereditary information from a gene (DNA nucleotide sequence) is converted to RNA or protein - can play a role in the aging of neurons. Genes involved in synaptic plasticity are less active in the brain of older people than in the brain of young people. In these genes, as a rule, there are more signs of DNA damage that accumulate throughout life and contribute to the aging process in the brain and body.
Synaptic plasticity is the main mechanism by which the phenomenon of memory and learning is realized.
Studies in humans and rodents show thatdamage contributes to age-related memory loss and cognitive decline. Rodents with more lesions perform worse memory tests, and people with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease have more signs of DNA damage compared to healthy people. Moreover, the energy needs of the brain can make an organ more vulnerable than other tissues to the metabolic changes that occur during aging.
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Violation of the central nervous system’s own immunity
Immune system disorders oftenoccur against the background of metabolic changes that are observed with aging. Microglia, a kind of self-immunity of the central nervous system, performs many important tasks: it protects against pathogens, cleanses cells and helps maintain and reconstruct synapses. These inflammatory reactions are protective, but prolonged inflammation is detrimental to brain health. With age, microglia become more reactive, enhancing the inflammatory response in the brain and at the same time reducing the production of useful anti-inflammatory molecules. Studies in mice show that excessive microglia activity can impair cognitive abilities.
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Cognitive abilities are called higher brain functions, such as speech, thinking, attention, perception, etc.
Protein Processing Disorder
In the process of destruction, cells are processeddamaged proteins and molecules. However, this process is not perfect, and over time, damaged molecules can accumulate in the cells and interfere with their normal functioning. So, in Alzheimer's disease, proteins accumulate inside the cells of the brain. The accumulation of proteins and other cellular components also contributes to cellular degeneration in a healthy brain. Although some changes in the brain are a normal, inevitable part of the aging process, this does not mean that we cannot control them. For example, a poor state of the cardiovascular system is likely to contribute to the changes observed in an aging brain. On the other hand, things that are good for the heart — good nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction — can also benefit your brain as you age.