Navigation Links
Pitt/UPMC: Exceptional cognitive and physical health in old age leaves immunological fingerprint
Date:10/21/2011

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 20 Exceptional cognitive and physical function in old age leaves a tell-tale immunologic fingerprint, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Likewise, older adults who have mild impairments bear a distinct immunologic pattern, too, according to findings published today in the Public Library of Science: One.

Old age is not synonymous with impairment and disability, noted lead investigator Abbe N. de Vallejo, Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics and immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

"Our study indicates that getting older does not necessarily mean that the immune system gets weaker, as many of us assumed," he said. "The immune system is dynamic, and the changes it undergoes over time very much influence function."

For the project, the team collected blood samples from 140 participants who had been followed in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) for nearly two decades and were 78 to 94 years old. With only two participants younger than 82, the average age of the group was 86. The team also gathered information about the participants' health and function, medical history and hospitalizations, and self-rated health, and assessed their cognitive and physical function using standard tests.

Previous research has shown that with age, immune cells called T-cells become more like natural killer (NK) cells, which typically target tumor cells and virus-infected cells, Dr. de Vallejo said. A closer look in the new study shows that participants who were most physically and cognitively resilient had a dominant pattern of stimulatory NK receptors on the T-cell surface, and that these unusual T-cells can be activated directly through these NK receptors independently of the conventional ones. The functionally resilient elders also have a distinct profile of blood proteins called cytokines that reflect an immune-enhancing environment.

Conversely, the group that showed mild health impairment had a dominant pattern of inhibitory NK receptors on their T-cells, and they have a cytokine profile indicating a pro-inflammatory environment. Both of these immunologic features could suggest a greater susceptibility to illness.

"These findings indicate that there is remodeling or adaptation of the immune system as we age that can be either protective or detrimental," Dr. de Vallejo said. "Now we have an immunological fingerprint that can identify individuals who are more likely to stay physically and cognitively well."

He and his colleagues are now studying factors, such as genetics or traits developed during childhood that might influence the adaptation of the immune system with advancing age.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
SrikamAV@upmc.edu
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Wide heads give hammerheads exceptional stereo view
2. New research explains autistics exceptional visual abilities
3. Research finds older women who are more physically fit have better cognitive function
4. Results from trials of DHA in Alzheimers disease and age-related cognitive decline
5. A heart healthy diet and ongoing, moderate physical activity may protect against cognitive decline
6. Supplementing babies formula with DHA boosts cognitive development
7. WIREs: Shaping the future of cognitive science
8. Fighting sleep, Penn researchers reverse the cognitive impairment caused by sleep deprivation
9. Consumption of certain fish during pregnancy associated with poorer cognitive performance
10. New study possibly links cognitive and motor delays with flat head syndrome in young babies
11. A common thread links multiple human cognitive disorders
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , March 15, 2016 ... a new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Digital ... Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023," the global digital ... at US$ 731.9 Mn in 2014 and is forecast to ... to 2023. Growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... Germany , March 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ... - Cross reference: Picture is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ... from DERMALOG will be used to produce the new refugee identity ... other biometric innovations, at CeBIT in Hanover ... scanner from DERMALOG will be used to produce the new refugee ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... YORK , March 9, 2016 This ... and future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) ... segments such as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, ... Analyze various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as ... services Identify the main factors affecting each segment and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... , ... The MIT bioLogic design team has won multiple A' Design ... can be applied to fabric and formed into living interfaces between body and environment. ... change. The team harvested Natto cells and applied them to fabric with custom 3D ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Summit for Stem Cell has received a $250,000 ... patient-specific stem cell therapy for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The Summit research project ... The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, CA. , The aim of ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Connecticut ... innovative, growing companies, today announced the launch of VentureClash , a $5 ... , “VentureClash looks to attract the best early-stage companies here in ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments ... Spring 2016 Marijuana Business Conference and Expo. Shimadzu’s high-performance instruments enable laboratories to ... more. Expo attendees can stop by booth 1021 to learn how Shimadzu’s instruments ...
Breaking Biology Technology: