New Insight Into Aging Brains

    Editors note:

    In contrary to popular believes judging the others physical age solely based on numerical criteria is mostly indicative of culture and customs rather than science especially when it comes to nervous system apparatus and brain.

    It is a common sense that life is a cycle and there is an end for each beginning and multiple factors play a major role in it like (Genetic, diet, education, exercise, wisdom, and faith) and perhaps more than tens of thousands of other minor unpredictable causes may influence this cycle as well.

    Paying attention to meaning of words may elucidate a bit i.e: difference between aging and getting old.

    Aging is unpreventable fact from birth to death and have a dry mathematics taste and truth in it and we do not have any other replaceable word for it.

    Getting old is completely different first of all have a nice happy replacement twenty or ninety years young. Second of all getting old is a physiologic process not mathematical calculation, meaning we as a being we can acquire knowledge and discipline to prevent getting old by being less abusive to our mind, body, and spirit by not taking “given gifts of health for granted” and put all the emotional. Nutritional toxins in it and assuring with no consequence later.

    You see it all depends through which lenses we see the world and its inhabitants.

    Governments can pay a major role:

    Wiser heads of the states that were elected by their people in an honest way will try to make life better for their constituents by making better decisions dealing with domestic and delicate international diplomatic issues.

    We are dying sooner not because of aging but because our bodies, our cells, our tissues, and organs and our hopes and aspirations have gotten old, ahead of our numerical age.

    Fortunately social media is becoming a household tool and hopefully technology will be able to find practical solution for the darkness of imposed sensor ship in all levels.

    As you sense in comparison to a few decades ago the territorial borders are less relevant today with super fast growing telecommunication.

    We are having fewer problems how to communicate with each other around the globe and it is the time to allow younger, wiser, braver, and better thinkers generation to bring new ideas to the international round table for solving the humanities problems (education, essential needs: peace, equality, justice, and co-existence) rather than watching and listening 24/7 to repeated old, very old issues, of last thousands of years, concerning faith, race, color, gender, class, without hearing any new solution except animosity and what will happen to each of us when we die by our elders. I wish there was a way to make them to understand that our creator is in charge not them nor here neither there.

    Science rightly so is paying attention to most less known part of our bodies (brain). It will make us to understand ourselves better.

    You may call life an experience or you may say that each event in your life was the only choice that was available to you to pick, between almost all unknown choices that you where confronted in your life. We change because getting old not aged. If you look at your self in the mirror you may wonder do am I the same person I was lets say 10 years ago? Or not?

    Allow me to end my commentary by making a point about believe and science.

    Believe is static, rather harsh, potentially violent dresses with artificially and temporary superficial inner peace that being accepted by most of believers with  total uncertainty.

    Science: is not written in stone. Scientist grow with each generation and they turn ideas to the hypothesis and when proven became law of science. They try to make quality of life from wore to better and from better to best with out uncertainty and false promises.

     

    New Insight Into Aging Brains
    Study Links 24% of Intelligence Changes Over a Person’s Life to Genetic Factors

    Sourse: Gautam Naik

    Nearly a quarter of the changes often seen in a person’s intelligence level over the course of a lifetime may be due to genes, a proportion never before estimated, new research shows.

    The study suggests that genes may partly explain why some people’s brains age better than others, even though environmental factors likely play a greater role over a lifetime.

    Traditional methods of estimating the influence of genes and the environment on intelligence have largely been limited to comparisons between people who are related, such as identical or fraternal twins. The shortcoming of such studies is they didn’t clearly apportion the effects of each factor on intelligence.

    Modern DNA-based techniques are now helping to refine the search.

    The new study, published in the journal Nature, offers one of the first estimates of how much genes and the environment contribute to fluctuations in a person’s intelligence between adolescence and old age. It found that genetic differences account for 24% of the variation.

    “The nature-nurture controversy is never more contentious than when it concerns the genetics of intelligence,” wrote Robert Plomin, a psychologist at King’s College in London, in a commentary accompanying the study, in which Dr. Plomin wasn’t involved.

    The Nature paper, he said, “may mark the beginning of the end of this controversy” because it relies on DNA data from unrelated people, which is harder to dispute.

    .The scientists behind the Nature paper were able to do their analysis thanks to an unusual database maintained in Scotland: records from 1,940 unrelated individuals whose intelligence was measured first at age 11 and then again at age 65, 70 or 79. It is rare for researchers to have access to intelligence data for a group of people from both childhood and old age. The participants also provided blood for DNA analysis.

    With these separate pieces of information, the researchers used a new statistical technique to seek out any associations between genes and how intelligence levels might have shifted over the years.

    As a first step, the scientists examined half a million genetic markers in the participants’ DNA. These markers, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, can together reveal how genetically similar people are, even though they are not conventionally related.

    The similarity of the SNPs was then compared with other aspects of the individuals’ similarity—in this case, with their cognitive ability in both youth and old age, and how much that had changed over the years.

    One finding of this technique, which is known as genome-wide complex-trait analysis, is that many of the same genetic factors seem to explain why people differ in intelligence in childhood and old age.

    Another finding is that people tend to retain a similar “rank order” in intelligence level between childhood and old age. In other words, those who had above-average cognitive ability at age 11 also tended to be above average when much older. Still, not everyone showed this kind of stability.

    While the study lacks statistical power in some crucial aspects, it is valuable because “it is very rare to have an estimate of the genetic contribution to lifetime cognitive change,” said psychologist Ian Deary of the University of Edinburgh and lead author of the study, in an emailed response to questions.

    As to which genes may account for the changes, Dr. Deary said, “Most of us think that we shall be looking for many genes, each contributing very small effects.”

    Dr. Deary noted that several other studies have indicated that people’s differences in a gene called Apolipoprotein E can contribute a small amount to cognitive aging. But links to other such genes have yet to be properly established.

    Scientists elsewhere have determined that a person’s intelligence level as measured by an IQ test isn’t fixed at birth. Instead, a person’s IQ can rise or fall as the person ages. One recent brain-scanning study found that a teenager’s IQ can increase or decline by as many as 20 points in just a few years.

    There also has been progress in figuring out which environmental factors may affect intelligence. For example, experiments have shown that IQ scores can change after just a few weeks of cognitive training, though the increases are small and tend to fade after a few months.

    Meantime, a three-decade study done at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health found that people whose jobs involved setting up elaborate systems or dealing with tough or complex relationships tended to do better over time on cognitive tests.

    Schooling also has been shown to boost IQ, while music lessons have been associated with higher IQ throughout life. And brain-imaging studies have found that circus jugglers and London cab drivers who use maps can show brain changes linked to practice.

    Dr. Deary said the team’s next step would be to examine whether there are “links between genetic factors and brain structure (which we have from brain imaging) and whether this in turn links to cognitive change.”

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