Nutraceutical intervention in ageing brain
Human brain ageing is associated with a number of specific neurobiological changes. As we age, the reduced
neurogenesis in specific brain areas contributes to neural loss and brain shrinkage with an increased incidence
of stroke, white matter lesions, and dementia. With age, myelin loss contributes to the decline of sensorimotor
and cognitive processes. Moreover, β-amyloid storage, neurofibrillary tangle formation, lipofuscin accumulation,
are well known physio-pathological age-related disorders. In neurons, ageing-related metabolic changes
involved a switch from aerobic glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative
stress are two damage mechanisms that play a central role in brain ageing.
Dietary interventions have been identified as potential means to prevent biological ageing and the related cognitive
decline. Increased consumption of specific nutrients such as polyphenols, fish and seafood, vitamins and
oligoelements has demonstrated protective effects by targeting specific cellular markers and cellular functions.
The work presented here describes patho-physiological alterations associated with brain ageing, with insights
into the cellular mechanisms underlying this process. We also review recent relevant experimental and clinical
data regarding the effects of supplemental substances (i.e., polyphenols, vitamins, oligoelements, ω-3 polyunsaturated
fatty acids) that have demonstrated encouraging therapeutic properties on neurodegenerative
processes implicated with brain ageing.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
© Società Italiana di Gerontologia e Geriatria (SIGG) , 2017
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