The hypothalamus region of the brain can promote longevity in humans, according to a new study that was carried out on lab mice.
The hypothalamus is located just above the brain stem.
In the study, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York manipulated the hypothalamus and apparently found that it regulated the lifespan of the rodents.
“The team said they could speed up or slow down aging in mice by activating or inhibiting the brain signalling molecule NF-kB in the hypothalamus, which in turn affects levels of a hormone called GnRH that plays a role in the generation of neurons — the data processing cells of the brain.”
The researchers believe that these results can be extrapolated to humans but that further researched is needed. NF-kb also is said to regulate the body’s response to inflammation, which is culprit in many chronic diseases. Inflammation in the hypothalamus can lead to metabolic syndrome, which in turn can result in diabetes or heart disease, according to scientists. Based on these preliminary findings, preventing inflammation in that brain region and increasing GnRh may be effective strategies for longevity and fending off age-related illnesses.
Dongsheng Cai, MD, PhD, one of the study’s authors, was enthusiastic about the results: “It’s clear from our study that many aspects of aging are controlled by the hypothalamus. What’s exciting is that it’s possible — at least in mice — to alter signaling within the hypothalamus to slow down the aging process and increase longevity.”
The article was published in the May issue of the Nature journal.
In a study earlier this year, scientists found what they believe could be a fountain of youth for the brain by deactivating a specific gene, called the Nogo Receptor 1. Again, the study about restoring a brain function was conducted on mice, and further research will berequired to validate the study and its potential implications for potentially youthening the human brain.