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Researchers identify why brains grow reluctant with age

Researchers identify why brains grow reluctant with age
2nd February 2012

The mechanism that causes brains to become reluctant to function during the aging process may have been identified by researchers at the University of Bristol.

A cellular mechanism has been discovered that underpins the changes to the activity of neurons during healthy aging.

The study explains that the brain primarily uses electrical signals to encode and transport information. Changes to electrical signals in the hippocampus are likely to cause a drop in cognitive ability.

Researchers found that ease at which the brain produces signals decreases as people get older.

It is hoped that the discovery will aid researchers in developing new drugs to combat and prevent dementia.

A previous study found that sodium channels increase the production of electrical signals.

University of Bristol researchers believe that the sodium channels are the "likely culprit" for decreased cognitive ability and aim to "modify age-related changes to neuronal excitability" by targeting the channels.

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