Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Your Hypothalamus and Aging

Have you ever wondered whether a specific part of the brain controls your rate of aging? Turns out the answer may be “yes,” at least in mice. According to scientists at Yeshiva University, the hypothalamus of mice controls aging through the body. The speculation is that this may be true for humans, as well. The researchers were able to alter signaling within the hypothalamus to slow down the aging process and increase longevity of the mice. So again, this might also be able to be accomplished in humans. Dr. Cai and his group demonstrated that blocking the pathway for a protein complex called NF-κB (involved with inflammatory processes) in the hypothalamus of mouse brains slowed aging and increased median longevity by about 20 percent, compared to controls. This study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (AG031774) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (DK078750), both part of the National Institutes of Health, as well as the American Diabetes Association (1-12-BS-20).

Guo Zhang et al., Hypothalamic programming of systemic ageing involving IKK-β, NF-κB and GnRH, Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12143

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