What are the threats to successful brain and cognitive aging?

Michela Gallagher, Ozioma C. Okonkwo, Susan M. Resnick, William J. Jagust, Tammie L.S. Benzinger, Peter R. Rapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The structure and function of the brain change over the life span. Aged brains often accumulate pathologic lesions, such as amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which lead to diminished cognitive ability in some, but not all, individuals. The basis of this vulnerability and resilience is unclear. Age-related changes can alter neural firing patterns and ability to form new memories. Risk factors for cognitive decline include male sex and apolipoprotein E genotype. Physical activity seems to be protective against cognitive decline. Longitudinal studies have shown that, although the onset of amyloid pathology and associated cognitive decline can vary greatly, once it begins, the rate of deposition is similar among affected individuals. This session of the Cognitive Aging Summit III explored fixed and modifiable factors that can threaten cognitive function in aging adults and approaches to modulate at least some of these risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-134
Number of pages5
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume83
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Compensation
  • Maintenance
  • Modifiable factors
  • Pathology
  • Reserve
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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  • Cite this

    Gallagher, M., Okonkwo, O. C., Resnick, S. M., Jagust, W. J., Benzinger, T. L. S., & Rapp, P. R. (2019). What are the threats to successful brain and cognitive aging? Neurobiology of Aging, 83, 130-134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2019.04.016