May 25, 2013
Medial Temporal Lobe Aging Reduces New Memory Segmenting

As your medial temporal lobe (MTL) shrinks you lose the ability to break the day up into a series of events.

The study suggests that problems processing everyday events may be the result of age-related atrophy to a part of the brain called the medial temporal lobe (MTL).

“When you think back on what you did yesterday, you don’t just press ‘play’ and watch a continuous stream of 24 hours,” says psychological scientist Heather Bailey of Washington University in St. Louis, who led the study. “Your brain naturally chunks the events in your day into discrete parts.”

We should develop the biotechnologies needed to stop and reverse brain aging.

In the study, older adults — some of whom had Alzheimer’s type dementia — watched short movies of people doing everyday tasks, such as a woman making breakfast or a man building a Lego ship. They were told to separate the movie into chunks by pressing a button whenever they thought one part of the activity in the movie was ending and a new part was beginning.

Afterward, the researchers asked the older adults to recall what happened in the movie. They also measured the size of the older adults’ MTL using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Old folks with MTL atrophy can't remember sequences of events.

“The older adults who showed atrophy in the MTL weren’t as good at remembering the everyday activities, and they weren’t as good at segmenting and chunking the events as they were happening,” says Bailey. “MTL size accounted for a huge portion of the relationship that we saw between participants’ ability to segment and their memory for the events.”

We need the ability to slow, stop, and reverse brain shrinkage.

Brain rejuvenation isn't just about the neurons. Youthful stem cell therapies to repair and expand vasculature would improve blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Also, immune system rejuvenation would improve the ability of the immune cells to drag away the trash (extracellular waste) that accumulates in the brain.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2013 May 25 01:34 PM 

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