Genetics opened the program of aging of the human brain

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina this is how the artist imagined the genetic program controlling the aging brainGenetics opened the program of aging of the human brain© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina

. Scottish genetics found in the DNA of human kind the program of aging of the brain, which controls its development throughout life and is associated with the development of schizophrenia. This is stated in an article published in the journal eLife.

«The discovery of this genetic program revealed a completely new way to learn how to change human behavior and how often it hit the various diseases of the brain at different stages of life. The end result of all these studies could be the creation means changes the course of brain aging,» said Seth Grant (Seth Grant), a geneticist from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland).

In recent years, scientists again began to argue about what is the process of aging and death of humans and animals. Some biologists and evolutionists believe that this process is not random and that it is controlled by a «programme of death» — a specific set of genes, forcing the body to grow decrepit and die and thus give way to a new generation of their kind.

Trying to understand, whether so it actually, the American geneticists have recently discovered a set of genes potentially related to the work of this «program of aging». Irregularities in functioning of these genes can explain why some people, as well as African rodents — naked mole rats — live several decades longer than other related species.

Recently scientists found in the brains of mice, a special zone that controls the aging brain and the whole organism, but the very principles of its work remained at that time a mystery to biologists.

Grant and his colleagues have taken the first step to uncovering the mechanisms of program of brain aging by analyzing which genes are active in neurons and supporting cells of the nervous system at different stages of life.

For this, geneticists had to perform a vast array of data and experimental results accumulated over the past three decades, and to identify those genes associated with the brain, whose activity level has varied in the childhood, maturity and old age.
The fruit of this search was the discovery of several dozen genes and short RNA molecules, the major carriers of information within the cells, the functioning of which varies during the adulthood and old age.

These changes, as they note, affect not only neurons but also glial cells and other supporting tissues of the brain, and most of them starts in 26-30 years. At this time, as scholars have noted, there is a serious restructuring of the brain, and many of its departments and types of cells start to not work as in my youth and childhood. These changes are starting to occur earlier in the brain of men, which indicates that the brain of women is aging slower. The same changes occur, as shown by the observations of the authors, and in the brains of mice, of course, adjusted for the difference in life expectancy of humans and rodents.

Similar nature of work «program of aging» of the brain, as noted by genetics, can explain why schizophrenia often strikes young people at the age of 25-30 years. Its dysfunctions associated with disruptions in the genes coding for this program can make a serious breach in the functioning of the nervous system and produce «voices in the head» and other characteristic features of this disease.

For example, the work of the Atp2a2 gene, Eef2 and Itpr1-related development of Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia, particularly varies greatly at the onset of maturity. The search for DNA regions that encode a program that manages all of these genes may not only help find a cure for schizophrenia, but also to slow down the aging process of the brain.