Neuroplastizität und Immunologie bei kognitiver Beeinträchtigung im Alter
Cognitive decline in aging has previously been seen as an inevitable consequence of aging. However, recent results from research on neuroplasticity suggest that cognitive decline in aging can be prevented and may even be reversed through behavioral trainings based on principles of neuroplasticity. Thus, methods that allow for an early diagnosis of pathological aging and beginning dementia, in combination with secondary preventive trainings, are of high societal importance.
In this collaborative project, partners from the field of Neuropsychology, Analytical Chemistry and Clinical Neurology/Medicine work together to evaluate the validity of new biomarkers in blood serum and cerebrospinal fluid for the early diagnosis of beginning Alzheimer's disease. Another main focus of the project is the investigation of the relationship between biomarkers and neuroplastic changes in the brain by using functional brain imaging techniques. Finally, the efficacy of a neuroplasticity-based behavioral training to prevent cognitive decline in elderly persons with beginning Alzheimer's disease will be evaluated. Immunoanalytical methods, mass spectrometry and functional brain imaging techniques will be used to investigate functional changes in the brain in the course of the training.
- FB Chemie
- FB Psychologie
|(2012): Aging and dementia : Clinical relevance of early markers and late interventions||
The human life expectancy is steadily rising worldwide. Currently, the maximum life span is 122 years. This remarkably old age was reached by Jeanne Calment. She was born on 21 February 1875 in France and died on 4 August 1997. She became 122 years and 164 days old and was cognitively fit throughout. According to the Gerontology Research Group (www.grg.org), altogether 70 so-called supercentenarians (among those 65 women) aged 110-115 years exist at present (last updated on 4 April 2012). Supercentenarians seem to evade or at least postpone the negative influence of age-associated morbidity including as vascular diseases and diabetes (Schoenhofen et al., 2006). More than 80% of the over-90-year-olds live independently (Perls, 2002). What is their secret? A healthy lifestyle concerning diet, physical exercise and health behavior is associated with up to ten years longer life expectancies (Fraser & Shavlik, 2001). Genetics play a moderate role, having a 20-30% influence on survival (e.g., Herskind et al., 1996; Perls, 2002). Longevity (i.e., > 90 years of age) reoccurs more often in siblings who have at least one very old family member (e.g., Perls et al., 2007). However, exceptional longevity (i.e., > 110 years of age) is still very rare. It is further unclear how genetic and environmental factors contribute to healthy survival beyond the 11th decade (Leslie, 2008; Sebastiani et al., 2012).
|Heidelberger Akademie||000/08||WIN-Kolleg||01.07.2007 – 30.06.2010|
|Exzellenzinitiative||874/08||3. Fö. Zukunftskolleg||01.01.2009 – 31.12.2009|
|Laufzeit:||01.07.2007 – 30.06.2012|