As the world’s elderly population rises, an understanding of brain aging becomes increasingly crucial. This review highlights recent findings in the study of neurocognitive aging, with special focus on episodic memory. Topics include dysfunction in neural circuits, the roles of neurogenesis and inhibitory signaling, vulnerability in the entorhinal cortex, individual differences, and comorbidities.
The first point describes volumetric brain changes with age. This is thought to reflect synaptic degradation rather than frank neuronal loss in the absence of disease. Memory functions are also under tight inhibitory control by small interneurons which can become dysregulated with age. The authors suggest that analysis of these different factors will help evaluate brain health trajectory with age.
Reagh Z and Yassa M: Selective vulnerabilities and biomarkers in neurocognitive aging. F1000Res. 6:491 (2017); doi: 10.12688/f1000research.10652.1. eCollection 2017.