A study links genes to cognitive resilience among the elderly
As people age, they are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Others, however, remain sharp into old age even if they show signs of neurodegeneration in their brains.
Researchers have found that education level and time spent in intellectually stimulating activities are factors that prevent dementia among cognitively resilient individuals. Researchers at MIT have found that enrichment of this type appears to activate a gene called MEF2, which controls a program in the brain to promote resistance to cognitive decline.
Researchers observed this relationship between MEF2 cognitive resilience and both mice and humans. These findings suggest that increasing the activity of MEF2 and its targets could protect against age-related cognitive decline.