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The Borders Between Healthy Brain Aging and Neurodegeneration

Inflammation, amyloid and atrophy in the aging brain.

About the project

How the link between aging and Alzheimer's disease should be understood is a major question in contemporary neuroscience. Evidence is mounting that Alzheimer-vulnerable neural systems are highly susceptible to a number of different factors in aging, with some being disease related while others are not. Our aim is to identify fundamental mechanisms causing these systems to decline also in non-demented elderly, allowing us to address the overarching question of why do some people maintain cognitive abilities in higher age while others decline?

Objectives

The primary objective is to address the overarching question of why do some people maintain their cognitive abilities in old age while others decline? The secondary objective is to conduct the most intensive study of brain changes in aging to date. The most novel part is that we directly address the possibly interacting role of neuro-inflammation and deposition of amyloid in brain atrophy and cognitive change. It is speculated that these factors are of critical importance both in normal aging and Alzheimer, but this has not been tested in humans. By measuring amyloid and inflammation in the same participants, and relate this to extremely comprehensive longitudinal measures of brain structure, function and cognition, as well as life-style factors and candidate genes, we hope to really move the boarders of our understanding of brain aging. This will put us in a unique position to increase brain health in normal aging as well as in a range of age-related diseases

Financing

The Research Council of Norway (Young talented researchers - FRIMEDBIO) 2014 - 2018.

Published July 2, 2015 12:43 PM - Last modified June 27, 2017 2:12 PM