Brain aging and cognition
EstadísticasView Usage Statistics
Full recordShow full item record
AuthorFernández Pérez, Anzu
Brain aging must be considered as a process that takes place in the context of the whole human organism aging. Neurons represent the morphologic substrate of the cerebral activity where, furthermore, there are many other cellular populations that modulate that activity. Glial cells in their different varieties and cerebral perfusion play a fundamental role in neural physiology. The action of oxygen free radicals upon certain biomolecules alters neuronal activity as aging proceeds.
Aging may thus influence the onset of neurodegenerative diseases alike. Neurodegeneration alters normal neural function and is related to cognitive deterioration. Some neurodegenerative diseases occur with a cognitive decrease or some mental impair. Alzheimer's disease is an example of those diseases. Healthy life's habits and an empowering of mental activity will help to increase cognitive reserve and thus to reduce the risk of cognitive decline linked to aging.
Aging is a dual process were both genetic makeup and environment play important functions. Up to date we have got very little control upon our genes. For this reason, it seems more adequate to deal with our environment trying to modulate and modify it through several actions such as; nutrition, education, social environment, health systems, and so. A correct balance between both ends leads to a higher survival rate and a better quality of life along the aging process, as final step of our vital cycle. From a biomedical point of view we could consider aging as a biological process associated with time progression that affects our whole organism and that is related to our genetics (nature) and environment (nurture) alike, and which ends with the death of the individual.