Navigation Links
Aging Brain's Decline May Hinge on a Gene
Date:10/25/2011

TUESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a gene variation that seems to have a major effect on the rate at which men experience an age-related decline in intellectual function.

The study included 144 experienced U.S. male pilots over the age of 40 who took a Federal Aviation Administration-approved flight simulator test three times over two years. The participants included recreational pilots, certified flight instructors and airline pilots.

Using blood and saliva samples from the pilots, the researchers also conducted genetic analyses, looking for the gene that produces a protein called brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). The BDNF gene is considered critical to the development and maintenance of the central nervous system. Levels decline gradually with age, but the findings of this study suggest that a variant of the gene hastens that process.

To test their theory, the researchers divided the pilots into two groups -- those with at least one copy of a BDNF gene that contained the methionine, or "met," variant and those without the variant.

Previous research has linked the "met" variant with increased risk of depression, stroke, anorexia nervosa, anxiety-related disorders, schizophrenia and suicidal behavior.

The flight simulator test scores of pilots in both groups fell over the three-year study period, but the rate of decline in the "met" group was much steeper, said the researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

"We saw a doubling of the rate of decline in performance on the exam among met carriers during the first two years of follow-up," study senior author Dr. Ahmad Salehi, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, said in a university news release.

Using MRI scans, the researchers also found that pilots with the "met" variant showed significant age-related decline in the hippocampus, a brain area that's crucial to memory and spatial reasoning.

"This gene-associated difference may apply not only to pilots but also to the general public, for example in the ability to operate complex machinery," Salehi said.

The study was published online Oct. 18 in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

Staying active can help maintain healthy BDNF levels, the researchers said. "The one clearly established way to ensure increased BDNF levels in your brain is physical activity," Salehi said.

More information

The Society for Neuroscience offers an overview of aging and the brain.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Stanford University, news release, Oct. 25, 2011


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Morning UV exposure may be less damaging to the skin
2. Congress alert: EUROECHO and Other Imaging Modalities: New patient emphasis
3. Trio of studies support use of PET/CT scans as prostate cancer staging tool
4. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital adopts new imaging agent to improve detection of bladder cancer
5. Relationships more important than genetic ties when deciding who cares for aging family, study finds
6. Staying Sharp in New Haven: Yale brain experts discuss successful aging at free forum
7. Project leads next decade of aging research across Europe
8. Muscling toward a longer life: Genetic aging pathway identified in flies
9. Protein family key to aging, cancer
10. New provincial atlas; information on lab testing key to managing diabetes among Albertans
11. Innovation at Regenstrief: Leveraging novel ideas to improve health care
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Aging Brain's Decline May Hinge on a Gene
(Date:5/26/2016)... Washington, DC (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) suggests that Americans prefer their dogs ... hot dogs, 63 percent say grilling is their favorite way to cook a hot ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... and clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at ... on their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... On Memorial Day, ... women who lost their lives in military battle for the country. The nonprofit ... 2015 to provide more programs that empower independence for disabled military veterans, as well ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... There are nearly 14.5 ... 32 million cancer survivors worldwide. On Sunday, June 5, 2016, communities around the world ... Cancer Survivors Day®. , National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual worldwide Celebration ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Farmingdale, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 ... ... and Hereditary Retinal Degeneration” for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Long Island Chapter on ... free to the public. , Dr. Maisel, founder of Retina Group of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 ... médica para ayudar a los médicos a compartir sus ... pacientes a escala mundial. Profesionales médicos de Europa, África, ... se han apuntado a la aplicación, que combina la ... un entorno totalmente seguro. Educación   ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016  Diana Russell suffers ... her organs from the inside out.  This disease has ... dependent on her children and grandchildren to leave her ... wheelchair, Diana,s family cannot haul the wheelchair.  So if ... the car, and Diana is left to wait for ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Celsion ... drug development company, today provided an update on ... escalating clinical trial combining GEN-1, the Company,s DNA-based ... treatment of newly-diagnosed patients with advanced ovarian cancer ... debulking surgery.  GEN-1 is an IL-12 DNA plasmid ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: