Cognitive decline associated with ageing and age-related disorders emerges as one of the greatest health challenges in the next decades. To date, the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of neuronal physiological changes in the central nervous system remain unclear. Functional MRI and PET studies have indicated the decline in working memory performance in older adults. Similarly, age-related disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, are associated with changes in the prefontral cortex and related neural circuitry, which underlines the decline of integrative function between different brain regions. This is mainly attributed to the loss of synaptic connectivity, which is a feature commonly observed in neurodegenerative disorders. In humans, the morphological and functional changes in neurons, such as reduction of spine numbers and synaptic dysfunction, precede the first signs of cognitive decline and likely contribute to pathology progression. Thus, a new scenario emerges in which apparently unrelated diseases present common features, such as the remodelling of neuronal circuitries promoted by ageing. For many years, ageing was considered a process of slow deterioration triggered by accidental environmental factors. Conversely, it is now evident that ageing is a biological process tightly controlled by evolutionary highly conserved signalling pathways. Importantly, genetic mutations that enhance longevity significantly delay the loss of synaptic connectivity and, therefore, the onset of age-related brain disorders. Accordingly, tweaking ageing might be an attractive approach to prevent cognitive decline caused by age-related synaptic dysfunction.

Bano, D., Agostini, M., Melino, G., Nicotera, P. (2011). Ageing, neuronal connectivity and brain disorders: An unsolved ripple effect. MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY, 43(2), 124-130 [10.1007/s12035-011-8164-6].

Ageing, neuronal connectivity and brain disorders: An unsolved ripple effect

AGOSTINI, MASSIMILIANO;MELINO, GENNARO;
2011-01-01

Abstract

Cognitive decline associated with ageing and age-related disorders emerges as one of the greatest health challenges in the next decades. To date, the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of neuronal physiological changes in the central nervous system remain unclear. Functional MRI and PET studies have indicated the decline in working memory performance in older adults. Similarly, age-related disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, are associated with changes in the prefontral cortex and related neural circuitry, which underlines the decline of integrative function between different brain regions. This is mainly attributed to the loss of synaptic connectivity, which is a feature commonly observed in neurodegenerative disorders. In humans, the morphological and functional changes in neurons, such as reduction of spine numbers and synaptic dysfunction, precede the first signs of cognitive decline and likely contribute to pathology progression. Thus, a new scenario emerges in which apparently unrelated diseases present common features, such as the remodelling of neuronal circuitries promoted by ageing. For many years, ageing was considered a process of slow deterioration triggered by accidental environmental factors. Conversely, it is now evident that ageing is a biological process tightly controlled by evolutionary highly conserved signalling pathways. Importantly, genetic mutations that enhance longevity significantly delay the loss of synaptic connectivity and, therefore, the onset of age-related brain disorders. Accordingly, tweaking ageing might be an attractive approach to prevent cognitive decline caused by age-related synaptic dysfunction.
Pubblicato
Rilevanza internazionale
Articolo
Esperti anonimi
Settore BIO/11
English
Aging; Animals; Brain Diseases; Dendritic Spines; Humans; Models, Biological; Nerve Net
Bano, D., Agostini, M., Melino, G., Nicotera, P. (2011). Ageing, neuronal connectivity and brain disorders: An unsolved ripple effect. MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY, 43(2), 124-130 [10.1007/s12035-011-8164-6].
Bano, D; Agostini, M; Melino, G; Nicotera, P
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2108/127825
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