Understanding how chronic inflammation and cognitive decline develops in old age has been a challenging concept for many scientists. Fortunately, Stanford scientists have recently found a new discovery! They believe they have found a way to de-age the brain by adjusting your immune system to decrease inflammation. In their study of mice, they created a drug compound to target a specific type of cell called myeloid cells. Myeloid cells are part of your immune system and fights off infections, helps remove dead cells from your body, and provides nutrients to healthy cells. But as we age, these same myeloid cells search for non-existent pathogens and attack a person’s healthy tissue like brain tissue. This attack damages your brain by decreasing macrophage function and increasing prostaglandins, specifically PGE2, which leads to an increase in inflammation. By blocking a specific hormone and targeting receptors in myeloid cells, these Stanford scientists were able to restore older mice metabolism and mental decline to that of younger mice with improved recall and navigation skills. This drug has yet to be studied in live humans but tests on human cultured cells shows it is promising due to no toxic side effects and no crossing of the blood-brain barrier! Therefore, adjusting our immune system outside of the brain to reduce inflammation causes a downstream affect to reverse cognitive decline, preserve brain health, and delay the dreaded aging process in seniors.
By: Jovin Lezeau, PharmD Candidate 2021
Full article link: Scientists unlock potential drug capable of ‘de-aging’ brain, reversing cognitive decline – Study Finds, published on 01/20/2021