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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Brain aging
  • Cerebrovasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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