Tissues and organs change over time, regulated by intrinsic (genetic) determinants and environmental (and microenvironmental) adaptation. Brain changes during lifetime are especially critical, as the brain is the effector of cognition and the vast majority of neurons live throughout the life of the individual. In addition, brain aging mechanisms are especially critical for disease vulnerability, given the aging­related prevalence of pathologies that include neurodegenerative diseases. In this context, the present contribution concisely highlights data yielded by recent trends of research on the normal aging brain, and specifically: the occurrence of synaptic changes (rather than neuronal loss) and the altered regulation of adult neurogenesis (which represents a novel exciting field of knowledge); the development of a low­grade chronic inflammatory state which primes glial cells and may lead to changes in intercellular crosstalk, thus playing a potential role in the brain susceptibility to neurodegeneration; changes occurring in state­dependent behavior, sleep and wake, which are products of global brain functioning and underlie consciousness and cognitive performance; changes in the biological clock, the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus, which regulates sleep­wake alternation and other endogenous rhythms. Altogether, the present synopsis of recent studies at the molecular, cellular, and functional levels emphasizes the idea that the normal aging brain should be viewed as an example of adaptation and plasticity rather than as an obligatory decline.

The aging brain, neuroinflammatory signaling and sleep-wake regulation.

BERTINI, Giuseppe;COLAVITO, Valeria;TOGNOLI, Cristina;SEKE ETET, PAUL FAUSTIN;BENTIVOGLIO FALES, Marina
2010-01-01

Abstract

Tissues and organs change over time, regulated by intrinsic (genetic) determinants and environmental (and microenvironmental) adaptation. Brain changes during lifetime are especially critical, as the brain is the effector of cognition and the vast majority of neurons live throughout the life of the individual. In addition, brain aging mechanisms are especially critical for disease vulnerability, given the aging­related prevalence of pathologies that include neurodegenerative diseases. In this context, the present contribution concisely highlights data yielded by recent trends of research on the normal aging brain, and specifically: the occurrence of synaptic changes (rather than neuronal loss) and the altered regulation of adult neurogenesis (which represents a novel exciting field of knowledge); the development of a low­grade chronic inflammatory state which primes glial cells and may lead to changes in intercellular crosstalk, thus playing a potential role in the brain susceptibility to neurodegeneration; changes occurring in state­dependent behavior, sleep and wake, which are products of global brain functioning and underlie consciousness and cognitive performance; changes in the biological clock, the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus, which regulates sleep­wake alternation and other endogenous rhythms. Altogether, the present synopsis of recent studies at the molecular, cellular, and functional levels emphasizes the idea that the normal aging brain should be viewed as an example of adaptation and plasticity rather than as an obligatory decline.
Glia; synapse; cytokines
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/346235
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 7
  • Scopus 18
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact