Aging and the nigro-striatal pathway
Aging is associated with a progressive impairment in motor function. This feature, together with the decline in mental function, could be considered as an aging syndrome which may finally compromise the ability of the elderly to maintain an active, independent life-style.
In the present paper a wide variety of morphological aspects, which have been classically related to brain aging and others such as cytoskeletal changes, the role of growth factors and molecular changes, will be reviewed focusing on aging of the nigrostriatal pathway. In addition to sharing features of aging common to other structures, it is likely that the nigrostriatal pathway has specific characteristics derived from its particular molecular characteristics and/or from a selective vulnerability to aging.
To gain further insight into the aging syndrome, the acquisition of rigorous criteria for selecting control cases is paramount. The improvement of methods for the preservation of human tissue is also crucial.
KeywordsSubstantia Nigra Senile Plaque Dystrophic Neurites Nigrostriatal Pathway Cytoskeletal Change
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