Navigation Links
'Sharp' older brains are not the same as younger brains

Researchers working with rats have found the first solid evidence that still "sharp" older brains store and encode memories differently than younger brains.

This discovery is reported by a Johns Hopkins team in the issue of Nature Neuroscience released online Nov. 13. Should it prove to apply as well to human brains, it could lead eventually to the development of new preventive treatments and therapies based on what healthy older brains are doing, rather than on the less relevant, younger brain model, according to study co-author Michela Gallagher, chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins' Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

"We found that aged rats with preserved cognitive abilities are not biologically equivalent to young rats in some of the basic machinery that neurons use to encode and store information in the brain," said Gallagher, who collaborated with Alfredo Kirkwood and Sun Seek Min of Johns Hopkins' Krieger Mind/Brain Institute and Hey-Kyoung Lee, now of the University of Maryland College Park. Lee was a research associate at the Mind/Brain Institute when the research was done.

The Gallagher-Kirkwood team compared the brains of 6-month-old rats with those of 2-year-old (considered "aged") rodents that had performed in the "young" range on various learning tasks. The aged rats' brains also were compared with those of older rats which showed declines in their abilities to learn new things. The researchers were looking at a key set of nerve cell connections that store information by modifying the strength of chemical communications at their synapses. (Synapses are the tiny gaps between nerve cells, where chemicals released by one cell act upon another.) Synaptic communication is the way brains register and preserve information to form memories.

The team found that while the older rats with compromised cognition had brains that had lost the ability to adjust the force of those syna ptic communications, the older rats whose memories remained sharp still had that capacity. Interestingly enough, the successful older rats also relied far less than did younger rats on a synaptic receptor that is linked to a common mechanism for storing memories, the team learned.

"Instead, successful agers relied more than young rats on a different mechanism for bringing about synaptic change," Gallagher said. "This 'switch' could serve the same purpose ?storing memories ?but through a different neurochemical device."


'"/>

Source:Johns Hopkins University


Related biology news :

1. Color perception is not in the eye of the beholder: Its in the brain
2. Amazon trees much older than assumed, raising questions on global climate impact of region
3. Alleged 40,000-year-old human footprints in Mexico much, much older than thought
4. Confidence in memory performance helps older adults remember
5. High estrogen levels associated with dementia in older men
6. Fertility hope as study shows eggs survive in older ovaries
7. 76 percent of workers older than 60 years of age are overweight or obese
8. 1/3 of sexually active older adults with HIV/AIDs has unprotected sex
9. Sleep quantity affects morning testosterone levels in older men
10. Birds brains reveal source of songs
11. Supercomputers to focus brains on AIDS dilemma
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/20/2016)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce the attainment of record-setting ... result of the company,s laser focus on (and growing ... it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable cloud-based technology platform. ... MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: , ...
(Date:1/15/2016)... Rico , Jan. 15, 2016 Recent ... and small to find new ways to ensure data ... iOS and Android that ... on biometrics, transforming it into a hardware authorization token. ... users swipe their fingerprint on their KodeKey enabled device ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the ... its ClearPad ® TouchView ™ 4300 touch ... categories in the 8 th Annual Mobile Excellence ... The Synaptics ® TDDI solution enables faster time-to-market, ... devices, brighter displays and borderless designs. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: ... fostering and monetization of intellectual property, today provided an ... in the Northern District of Texas ... Inter Partes Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings ... Office.  The IPR was initiated on only certain claims ...
(Date:2/3/2016)...   ViaCyte, Inc ., a leading, privately-held ... cell-derived islet replacement therapy for the treatment of ... that ViaCyte and Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of ... have agreed to consolidate the assets of the ... ViaCyte with an exclusive license to all BetaLogics ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... BRUNSWICK, N.J. , Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... grants totaling more than $1 million for researchers ... are working on health-related research that demonstrates exciting ... this round of funding for the New Jersey ... for faculty members at these educational institutions— Princeton ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... -- Silk Therapeutics, Inc., today announced the closing of a $6 ... a total of $10.25 million in Series A funding based ... round was led by existing investor The Kraft Group of ... investors Lear Corporation and Highland Consumer Partners, as well as ... Richard Sackler , MD, with Summer Road, LLC; Erin ...
Breaking Biology Technology: