Findings open new avenue of research in memory loss
A new Northwestern Medicine study showed cognitive SuperAgers have resistance to the development of fibrous tangles in a brain region related to memory and which are known to be markers of Alzheimer’s disease.
The tangles are made of the tau protein which forms structures that transport nutrients within the nerve cell. These tangles disrupt the cell’s transport system, hampering communication within the neuron and preventing nutrients from performing their particular job within the cell. The end result of tangle formation is cell death.
“The results suggest resistance to age-related tau degeneration in the cortex may be one factor contributing to preserved memory in SuperAgers,” said lead study author Tamar Gefen, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.