November 04, 2010
MRI Shows Brain Lactic Acid As Aging Indicator

A magnetic resonance imaging scan in mice shows lactic acid as a predictor for other signs of brain aging.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have shown that they may be able to monitor the aging process in the brain, by using MRI technique to measure the brain lactic acid levels. Their findings suggest that the lactate levels increase in advance of other aging symptoms, and therefore could be used as an indicator of aging and age-related diseases of the CNS.

My initial reaction to the first paragraph: Geez, I hope this is an indicator of poor brain circulation and therefore low brain oxygen. That's something we could hope to delay. But no. The researchers believe the rising lactic acid is an indicator of accumulated mitochondrial gene damage. A much harder problem to avoid or fix.

In the current study, which is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers show that the damage to the mitochondria slowly increases with age in brains of mice and causes altered expression in certain genes that are responsible for the formation of lactate. They also show that brain lactate levels may increase in advance of other indices of aging, and can be detected using non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging techniques.

The researchers suspect MRI measurements of lactic acid will also predict brain deterioration in humans.

We need gene therapy that will deliver replacement mitochondrial genes to all the cells in the body, especially to brain cells.

Brain rejuvenation is going to be the most difficult challenge for reversing general human aging. The cells must be repaired in place rather than replaced with new organs or stem cell therapy. So brain rejuvenation requires the most advanced techniques for cell repair.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 November 04 10:28 PM  Aging Brain Studies

Lou Pagnucco said at November 7, 2010 7:53 PM:

But, the word "damage" implies a "wear and tear" phenomenon.

Perhaps, this change is self inflicted, and results from a continuation of a developmental program past the optimum, and toward harm. This is one of the tentative conclusions of the paper -

"MicroRNA, mRNA, and protein expression link development and aging in human and macaque brain"


Our results indicate that miRNA and transcription factors regulate not only developmental but also postdevelopmental
expression changes, with a number of regulatory processes continuing throughout the entire life span.
Differential evolutionary conservation of the corresponding genomic regions implies that these regulatory processes,
although beneficial in development, might be detrimental in aging. These results suggest a direct link between developmentalregulation and expression changes taking place in aging.

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