Fountain of Youth? Brain region could slow aging
It is not by now that scientists around the world have been trying to find a way to slow aging and why not prolong our short lives for many years to come. And, according to the Live Science website, a group of researchers appear to have identified a brain region that may be responsible for accelerating or slowing the aging process, at least in mice.
Scientists found that by blocking a specific protein (known as NF-kB) and introducing a particular hormone (GnRH) into an area in the hypothalamus, both youth and pet vigor were prolonged by 20%. And this combination of substances not only slowed physical aging but also reduced cognitive decline, encouraging neuronal regeneration.
The hypothalamus is responsible for controlling functions such as metabolism, growth and reproduction, and apparently youth as well. Although it is not yet known whether this same region is responsible for controlling the aging process in humans, if it is confirmed that yes, the implications are huge.
Fountain of Youth
Hippocampus of a mouse Image Source: Reproduction / Live Science
Scientifically, it is not known exactly how aging works, if the whole process occurs due to several changes that are triggered in certain tissues or organs or if it is a specific action controlled by a single organ.
According to the scientists, if the human hypothalamus performs the same functions, it would not only be able to halt physical decline by using the substances described above, but also treat aging-related degenerative diseases such as dementia, some brain damage and Alzheimer's.
Researchers now hope to better understand the role of the hypothalamus in controlling aging and longevity at the molecular level and to find ways to slow this dreaded process in humans.