AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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The Brain May Show Signs of Aging Earlier Than Old Age

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In a recent study, the research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found data that suggests that microglia cells – the immune cells of the brain – in middle-aged mice showed signs of of altered activity seen in microglia from older mice. This further suggests that the brain may show signs of aging earlier than when patients enter what is considered “old age.” Certain neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, are associated with inflammation in the brain. Some scientists believe that overactive microglia contribute to this extra inflammation. With normal function, microglia protect the brain from infection by having a tightly controlled immune response. They trigger the inflammation process and can just as easily turn it off. However, with aging, their responses become less controlled and more erratic causing potential inflammation that can result in damage to the brain. To read more, click here

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