Bodyguard for the Brain

Researchers Identify Mechanism That Seems to Protect Brain from Aging

Researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Mainz have discovered a mechanism that seems to protect the brain from aging. In experiments with mice, they switched off the cannabinoid-1 receptor. As a consequence, the animals showed signs of degeneration — as seen in people with dementia — much faster.

The research results are presented in a current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Humans are getting older and older, and the number of people with dementia is increasing. The factors controlling degeneration of the brain are still mostly unknown. However, researchers assume that factors such as stress, accumulation of toxic waste products as well as inflammation accelerate aging. But, vice versa, there are also mechanisms that can — like a bodyguard — protect the brain from degenerating, or repair defective structures.

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Researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Mainz have discovered a mechanism that seems to protect the brain from aging. (Credit: Image copyright University of Bonn)

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