Losing nerves with age


Remember this is a blog for Good, Bad and other research news. The study below looks at shrinkage of nervous system structures with age and the good news is that as you get older you appear to be losing fewer nerves. However as you get older ,you will have fewer nerves to lose. This study looks at tissue loss in the grey matter of the brain and retinal thinning. As you can see the rates of nerve loss in the retina and the brain are not the same at any age. The brain volume, retinal volume decreases earlier in life when inflammatory activity in usually more active….So you don’t need to hear this again but early and effective has to be the mantra….Is it not time to retire some of the less active agents….uyes it is your choice but it is your brain too..

Cordano C, Nourbakhsh B, Yiu HH, Papinutto N, Caverzasi E, Abdelhak AC, Cosima C Oertel F, Beaudry-Richard A, Santaniello A, Sacco S, Bennett DJ, Gomez A, Sigurdson CJ, Hauser SL, Magliozzi R, Campbell Cree BA, Henry RG, Green AJ. Differences in Age-Related Retinal and Cortical Atrophy Rates in Multiple Sclerosis. Neurology. 2022 Aug 29:10.1212/WNL.0000000000200977.

Background and objectives: The timing of neurodegeneration in MS remains unclear. It is critical to understand the dynamics of neuroaxonal loss if we hope to prevent or forestall permanent disability in MS. We therefore used a deeply phenotyped longitudinal cohort to assess and compare rates of neurodegeneration in retina and brain throughout the MS disease course.

Methods: We analyzed 597 MS patients who underwent longitudinal OCT imaging annually for 4.5±2.4 years and 432 patients who underwent longitudinal MRI scans for 10±3.4 yrs, quantifying macular ganglion-cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) volume and cortical gray matter (CGM) volume.

Results: The rate of CGM volume loss declined with increasing age of study entry (1.3%/year atrophy for the age of entry in the cohort <35 years; 1.1% for age >35 years and <41; 0.97% for age >41 years and <49; 0.9% for age >49 years) while the rate of GCIPL thinning was highest in patients in the youngest quartile, fell by more than 50% in the following age quartile, and then stabilized (0.7%/year thinning for the age of entry in the cohort <35 years; 0.29% for age >35 years and <41; 0.34% for age >41 years and <49; 0.33% for age >49 years).

Conclusions: An age-dependent reduction in retinal and cortical volume loss rates during RRMS suggests deceleration in neurodegeneration from the earlier period of disease and further indicates that the period of greatest adaptive-immune-mediated inflammatory activity is also the period with the greatest neuroaxonal loss.

COI: multiple

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  • Thanks for this nice one

    Could the age efect emply that the nerves become more resistant to insult also?

    Like the skin of the hands of a mason ,carpenter or conga player they become very tick with the passing of time

  • Don’t know whether to be happy or depressed. All I had was interferon in the early days and now I am “old”. 🙁

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