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Cognitive aging as an extension of brain development: A model linking learning, brain plasticity, and neurodegeneration
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Numerical Analysis and Computer Science, NADA.
2005 (English)In: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, ISSN 0047-6374, E-ISSN 1872-6216, Vol. 126, no 10, 1026-1033 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Differences in cognitive aging rates among mammals suggest that the pace of brain aging is genetically determined. In this work, we investigate the possibility that brain aging is an extension of brain development. It is possible that a subset of developmental mechanisms are extreme cases of antagonistic pleiotropy in that they are necessary for reaching adulthood and yet later cause age-related diseases. We derive a model linking development and brain aging in which childhood events essential for brain development later result in neurodegeneration. The hypothesis presented herein involves brain plasticity in which the same mechanisms that shape the adult phenotype continue at later ages contributing to cognitive dysfunction and eventually dementia. The same genetic program that decreases brain plasticity at early ages to focus our mind to the surrounding environment may continue in adulthood resulting in cognitive aging. Experimental implications for understanding neurodegeneration in this context are also discussed. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 126, no 10, 1026-1033 p.
Keyword [en]
longevity, mind, neuroplasticity, senescence, synaptic plasticity
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-37874DOI: 10.1016/j.mad.2005.04.004ISI: 000232444900002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-24044500434OAI: diva2:435480
QC 20110818Available from: 2011-08-18 Created: 2011-08-18 Last updated: 2011-08-18Bibliographically approved

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