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Nature. 2010 Mar 25;464(7288):529-35. doi: 10.1038/nature08983.

Neural mechanisms of ageing and cognitive decline.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


During the past century, treatments for the diseases of youth and middle age have helped raise life expectancy significantly. However, cognitive decline has emerged as one of the greatest health threats of old age, with nearly 50% of adults over the age of 85 afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. Developing therapeutic interventions for such conditions demands a greater understanding of the processes underlying normal and pathological brain ageing. Recent advances in the biology of ageing in model organisms, together with molecular and systems-level studies of the brain, are beginning to shed light on these mechanisms and their potential roles in cognitive decline.

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