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Nov 4, 2021

Study links gene to cognitive resilience in the elderly

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, neuroscience

Many people develop Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia as they get older. However, others remain sharp well into old age, even if their brains show underlying signs of neurodegeneration.

Among these cognitively resilient people, researchers have identified and amount of time spent on intellectually stimulating activities as factors that help prevent dementia. A new study by MIT researchers shows that this kind of enrichment appears to activate a called MEF2, which controls a genetic program in the brain that promotes resistance to cognitive decline.

The researchers observed this link between MEF2 and cognitive resilience in both humans and mice. The findings suggest that enhancing the activity of MEF2 or its targets might protect against age-related dementia.

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