Genetics news & views from students enrolled in BIOL 2110 at Stockton University.
Sunday, August 9, 2020
Will your brain stay sharp into your 90s? Certain factors are key.
Can some of us stay sharp during our 90’s? This is a question that researches sought to answer. I remember an interview done by the astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson to Steven Hawking. During the interview one question got my attention, he asked him what his biggest fear in life was. Hawking responded to lose his mental capacity. For Hawking, he didn’t care much about any other competence but to think critically every day. Beth Snitz a professor of neurology at the University of Pittsburg decided to study what seems to protect us from disease and impairment in our 90s. Her team found that people whose scores were usually normal on thinking and memory test are less likely to have problems with their thinking skills even if they contain amyloid protein plaques (linked to Alzheimer’s disease). Another finding was those with APOE 2 gene mutations were tied to have a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease because they were less likely to develop amyloid plaques as compared to other people who did not have this mutation. Another interesting link to mental deficit was people who suffered from high pulse pressure were linked to an increase in plaques, this is because as you get older the pulse pressure gets higher and is a sign of the blood vessels aging. Overall, our brain is an incredible organ that contains many mysteries in which I hope our scientific community can discover in the future.