A new study has revealed the molecular mechanisms of memory decline with age, using latest high-throughput proteomics and statistical methods.
Prof Dr Antonio del Sol Mesa from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine said that there was only one group of four proteins of the so-called extracellular matrix which increased strongly with age and the rest stayed more or less the same.
He further added that a healthy amount of these proteins ensures a balance between stability and flexibility of synapses and was vital for learning and memory.
Dr Ronald van Kesteren of the VU University Amsterdam elaborated that an increase of those proteins with age makes the connections between brain cells more rigid which lowers their ability to adapt to new situations, hence, learning gets difficult, memory slows down.
According to the researchers from VU University Amsterdam, the insight into the normal aging process could also help in the future to better understand complex neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
This study is published in the scientific journal Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.