Summary: A new study reveals brain aging may start to occur by the age of 25.
Source: Lancaster University.
Physicists have devised a new method of investigating brain function, opening a new frontier in the diagnoses of neurodegenerative and ageing related diseases.
This new non-invasive technique could potentially be used for any diagnosis based on cardiovascular and metabolic-related diseases of the brain.The researchers at Lancaster University (UK) and Medical University of Gdansk (Poland) deciphered oscillations in the cerebrospinal fluid which lies between the scalp and skull.
A device for non-invasive recordings of this translucent fluid has been developed by researchers at the Technical University of Gdansk (Poland), and recordings on healthy subjects were made at the Medical University of Gdansk (Poland) and the University of Regina (Canada).
Using methods developed by physicists at Lancaster it has been shown that the circulation throughout the brain of this fluid is highly fluctuating, and that these fluctuations are slow but interconnected by the rhythms of breathing and the heart rate.
Researchers found that some of these oscillations are linked with blood pressure, but are generally slower, occurring at lower frequencies, which have been shown in previous studies to be related to oscillations in vascular motion and blood oxygenation.
Preliminary results showed evidence of a decline in the coherence between these oscillations in participants over the age of 25, indicating that brain ageing may begin earlier than expected.
Professor Aneta Stefanovska from Lancaster University, who has been studying the physics of biological oscillations for over 20 years, said: “Combining the technique to noninvasively record the fluctuation corresponding to cerebrospinal fluid and our sophisticated methods to analyse oscillations which are not clock-like but rather vary in time around their natural values, we have come to an interesting and non-invasive method that can be used to study ageing and changes due to various neurodegenerative Brain ageing may begin earlier than expected
Source: Lancaster University
Publisher: Organized by NeuroscienceNews.com.
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is adapted from the Lancaster University news release.
Original Research: Open access research in Scientific Reports.
Human subarachnoid space width oscillations in the resting state
Abnormal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pulsatility has been implicated in patients suffering from various diseases, including multiple sclerosis and hypertension. CSF pulsatility results in subarachnoid space (SAS) width changes, which can be measured with near-infrared transillumination backscattering sounding (NIR-T/BSS). The aim of this study was to combine NIR-T/BSS and wavelet analysis methods to characterise the dynamics of the SAS width within a wide range of frequencies from 0.005 to 2 Hz, with low frequencies studied in detail for the first time. From recordings in the resting state, we also demonstrate the relationships between SAS width in both hemispheres of the brain, and investigate how the SAS width dynamics is related to the blood pressure (BP). These investigations also revealed influences of age and SAS correlation on the dynamics of SAS width and its similarity with the BP. Combination of NIR-T/BSS and time-frequency analysis may open up new frontiers in the understanding and diagnosis of various neurodegenerative and ageing related diseases to improve diagnostic procedures and patient prognosis.