Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease

Neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system are characterized by progressive neuronal death and neurological dysfunction, leading to increased disability and a loss of cognitive or motor functions. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have neurodegeneration as a primary feature. However, in other CNS diseases such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury, neurodegeneration follows another insult, such as demyelination or ischemia. Although there are different primary causes to these diseases, they all share a hallmark of Neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation can occur through the activation of resident immune cells such as microglia, cells of the innate and adaptive peripheral immune system, meningeal inflammation and autoantibodies directed toward components of the CNS. Despite chronic inflammation being pathogenic in these diseases, local inflammation after insult can also promote endogenous regenerative processes in the CNS, which are key to slowing disease progression. The normal aging process in the healthy brain is associated with a decline in physiological function, a steady increase in levels of neuroinflammation, brain shrinkage, and memory deficits.



 


  • Cerebrovascular disease [CVD]
  • Lewy body disease [LBD])
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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