View Full Version : Age-related cognitive decline is caused by decrease in efficiency of repair

rock hunter
06-16-2015, 12:33 AM
Age-related cognitive decline is caused by a decrease in the efficiency of our neurons to repair DNA damage.

Researcher Ram Madabhushi and his colleagues found that age-related cognitive decline is caused by a decrease in the efficiency of our neurons to repair DNA damage.
Posted: Monday, June 8, 2015 9:00 am

NEW YORK — The findings of lead author Ram Madabhushi and his colleagues could ultimately help researchers develop new approaches to preventing cognitive decline in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Li-Huei Tsai, a professor at MIT, each time we learn something new, our brain cells break their DNA, creating damage that the neurons must immediately repair. This process is essential to learning and memory.

“Cells physiologically break their DNA to allow certain important genes to be expressed. However, as we age, our cells’ ability to repair this DNA damage weakens, leading to degeneration,” said Tsai.

“When we are young, our brains create DNA breaks as we learn new things, but our cells are absolutely on top of this and can quickly repair the damage to maintain the functionality of the system,” added Tsai.

“But during aging, particularly with some genetic conditions, the efficiency of the DNA repair system is compromised, leading to the accumulation of damage, which in our view, could be very detrimental.”

In further studies, the researchers were able to confirm that an enzyme, known as topoisomerase III, is responsible for the DNA breaks, based on its response to stimulation in the laboratory.

“When we knocked down this enzyme, we found that both double-strand break formation and the expression of early response genes was reduced,” said Madabhushi.

The researchers said they plan to investigate whether certain chemicals could enhance this DNA-repair capacity as we age. The findings were reported in the journal Cell.

06-25-2015, 11:18 PM
Wondering how this diminished repair process might result in the formation of the neurofibrillary tangles and Beta amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimers. I believe the current pre-diagnostic mutation for Alzheimers is specific for B-amyloid synthesis?

10-15-2015, 09:48 AM
Although there is no evidence of direct aging associated genes, I think we still can find a gentic way to against aging.