Mar 16, 2017 07:05 PM EDT
A gene called TMEM106B was discovered to control the speed and rate of brain aging. Scientists have also suggested that a particular version of it may be gear towards the protection of age-related neurological pathology such as dementia.
According to Live Science, the gene starts its action at the age of 65. People with bad copies of TMEM106B will have a brain that looks 10 to 12 years older compared to others who have working copies. This study will help physicians to sort out patients who are at risk of neurological disorders through the identification of TMEM106B.
The said gene is also the reason behind the differences in the group of senior citizens; some will look younger than their peers and vice versa. The study was authored by Herve Rinn and Dr. Asa Abeliovich, both professors from Taub Institute.
Numerous genes have been linked to different neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The major risk factor for these diseases is aging and changes in the brain make a person susceptible to brain disease, as stated by Rinn. TMEM106B was associated with a rare form of dementia, however; it is more broadly associated with brain age.
As reported by Psychology Today, brain-scan technology shows that aging can cause the brain to shrink. The challenge for aging is reducing the rate of onset and decline as such vitamins and supplements, fad diets, gym facilities, and mind training program is emerged among seniors. In the current study, the researchers have evaluated 1,200 human brains in order to track the gene.
The autopsied human brain from people was been not been diagnosed with any neurodegenerative diseases when they were alive. The researchers have compiled a chart of "differential aging" comparing chronological brain age with apparent brain age. One gene, TMEM106B was found to be the genetic driver of differential aging.
The identified TMEM106B was discovered to control inflammation and neuronal loss in the brain. There are two forms of gene or alleles; one from is associated with an increased risk of aging and the other is protective to prevent the acceleration of aging. Any one has two copies of this and from the general population 30 percent have two risk alleles, 50 percent have one risk allele and one protective allele, and 20 percent have two protective alleles.