Brain aging can be prevented

Biologists at the University of Portsmouth has awarded a grant of 600 thousand pounds in order to conduct the large-scale study of proteins, provoking the emergence of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and dementia.

Under the gun scientists will be protein Kir4.1, responsible for the control cells in the brain and spinal cord - oligodendrocytes. It is now known that they are involved in the formation of myelin - white matter - the main component of the sheath of nerve fibers, through which is passed electrical nerve impulse. A consequence of damage to the shell is slowing down or complete stopping conduction of the impulse.

In addition, biologists will study the protein Gas6 who has the ability to stimulate the production of oligodendrocytes, and beneficial effects in their preservation. This conclusion is made after detection of signals in the brain that triggers the growth and regeneration of myelin and oligodendrocytes.

By studying the signals that uses the brain to support these processes, we plan to form a comprehensive picture of brain aging, as well as to gain insight into diseases such as multiple sclerosis and dementia," says Arthur BATT, Professor in the school of biomedical Sciences and pharmacy.

The authors of the research project suggest that this study will continue for another three years. Scientists are confident that the result of their efforts will be implemented in the experimental drugs for patients with multiple sclerosis and dementia.

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