Normal Aging Process of the Brain Determined By Your Genes

A recent study by researchers at Texas Biomedical Research Institute and Yale University shows that the decline in brain function during normal aging may be influenced by genes.

Normal Aging Process of the Brain Determined By Your Genes
Genes play a part in your aging process

For the first time in a huge research sample, the decline in brain function in normal aging process of the brain be influenced by genes, say researchers from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio and Yale University.

The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is published in the November 4, 2013 issue of the National Academy of Sciences. David Glahn, Ph.D., an associate teacher of psychiatry at the Yale College School of Medicine, is the first author on the paper.

John Blangero, Ph.D., a Texas Biomed geneticist and the senior author of the paper, reports "Recognition of genes related to brain maturing should enhance our understanding of the biological procedures that govern typical age-related decline,"

The Genetics of Aging

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In huge study involving family ancestry of 1,129 people from ages 18 years old to 83 years of age, the research scientists documented extensive maturing results from young adulthood to old age. The study focused on neurocognitive capability and brain white matter measures. Brain white matter actively impacts exactly how the brain discovers new things and functions. The genetic material shared amongst the biological family members appears to help predict the changes observed in brain function with age.

Individuals involved in the study were registered in the Genetic makeup of Brain Structure and Function Study. The participants were drawn from large Mexican Americans families that live in the San Antonio, Texas area.

"A vital benefit of this research is that we particularly concentrated on large families with documented longevity and so we were able to disentangle genetic from non-genetic impacts on the maturing process," stated Glahn.The brain imaging research was conducted at the College of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Research Imaging Institute under the direction of Peter Fox, M.D.
"The use of large human studies involving family ancestry offers a powerful resource for determining exactly how genetic aspects alter with age," Blangero said.

Normal Aging Process of the Brain Determined By Your Genes...

By using a sophisticated analysis, the experts demonstrated a that there is proof of an inheritable basis for neurocognitive wear and tear that occurs with age that could be associated with a genetic connection. It was the decreasing of the white matter integrity that occurs with age was influenced by genes. The study further demonstrated that various sets of genes are responsible for biological aging processes.

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