Aging of the brain

Paul Luiten, C. Nyakas, Ulrich Eisel, Eddy Van Der Zee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An increasing number of persons live for nine or more decades and enjoy the benefits of a well-functioning brain until the end of their life. In that respect, the cognitive performance in later life and the quality maintenance of the brain are amazing biological phenomena. Since most nerve cells are generated during pregnancy and have to survive an active lifetime, the brain has to be endowed with a maintenance machinery of surprising long-term quality. During successful, that is, non-pathological, aging in most brain regions, there is very little or no evidence for a decrease in numbers of neurons. In some brain structures, a limited reduction of nerve cells may occur, but it is generally conceived that aging and aging-related cognitive impairments are not the result of massive cell loss but rather the result of synaptic changes, receptor dysfunction or signaling deficits, and metabolic decline. Besides, nerve cell loss during normal aging may be compensated by synaptogenesis, dendritic branching, or in certain brain structures like dentate gyrus by neurogenesis from progenitor stem cells. Yet most human individuals suffer from a mild but life-disturbing condition we call aging-related memory impairment (AMI). In this chapter, some of the mechanisms will be shortly explored that are considered to be causal to non-pathological deterioration of cognitive faculties. In particular several cellular and molecular neuronal changes will be addressed that occur during aging, the consequences for interneuronal communication and membrane potential, the blood supply to the brain and cerebrovascular condition, and some observations on the protective neuroimmune system of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuroscience in the 21st Century: From Basic to Clinical
PublisherSpringer New York
Pages2239-2272
Number of pages34
ISBN (Print)9781461419976, 1461419964, 9781461419969
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2013

Fingerprint

Brain
Neurons
Stem Cells
Maintenance
Biological Phenomena
Neurotransmitter Receptor
Neurogenesis
Dentate Gyrus
Membrane Potentials
Communication
Quality of Life
Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Luiten, P., Nyakas, C., Eisel, U., & Van Der Zee, E. (2013). Aging of the brain. In Neuroscience in the 21st Century: From Basic to Clinical (pp. 2239-2272). Springer New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1997-6_84

Aging of the brain. / Luiten, Paul; Nyakas, C.; Eisel, Ulrich; Van Der Zee, Eddy.

Neuroscience in the 21st Century: From Basic to Clinical. Springer New York, 2013. p. 2239-2272.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Luiten, P, Nyakas, C, Eisel, U & Van Der Zee, E 2013, Aging of the brain. in Neuroscience in the 21st Century: From Basic to Clinical. Springer New York, pp. 2239-2272. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1997-6_84
Luiten P, Nyakas C, Eisel U, Van Der Zee E. Aging of the brain. In Neuroscience in the 21st Century: From Basic to Clinical. Springer New York. 2013. p. 2239-2272 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1997-6_84
Luiten, Paul ; Nyakas, C. ; Eisel, Ulrich ; Van Der Zee, Eddy. / Aging of the brain. Neuroscience in the 21st Century: From Basic to Clinical. Springer New York, 2013. pp. 2239-2272
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