Research Topic

Biology of cognitive aging: model systems, technologies and beyond

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This Research Topic will provide current understanding of age-related memory impairment (AMI) and its transition to advanced aging and dementia. The issue focuses on model systems, technologies and model systems relevant to cognitive aging and the Alzheimer’s disease. AMI, also called age-associate memory ...

This Research Topic will provide current understanding of age-related memory impairment (AMI) and its transition to advanced aging and dementia. The issue focuses on model systems, technologies and model systems relevant to cognitive aging and the Alzheimer’s disease. AMI, also called age-associate memory impairment (AAMI), is one of diverse age-related phenotypes that show significant similarities among a wide variety of species including bees, fruit flies, nematodes, snails, rodents and humans. Technologies are essential to study AMI in invertebrate, cellular and disease models. This Research Topic is intended to provide an encyclopedic overview of model systems, technologies and beyond.

Aging specifically reduces the ability to learn new information, reduces some types of long-term memory, but leaves some types of long-term memories and procedural memory intact. It is imperative to describe the approaches that are commonly used in each species. In snalis, neurophysiological approach is essential to study AMI, while genetic and epigenetic studies provide the molecular basis of AMI in other species. AMI is a normal state of aging, which differs from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia among others. In a simplified model, the transition of cognitive aging can be described as: AMI (normal state) --> MCI (transition state) --> dementia (disease state). However, the basis of AMI and its transition to more advanced age-related disease remains unclear.

A wide variety of model systems are expected to shed a light on treatment of elderly patients with memory impairment. However, as stated by Alzheimer’s association [1], “a limitation of these models is that they do not capture the full complexity of the human condition, which is problematic if one wants to use them to predict the success of specific therapeutic interventions in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.” To this end, we will ask that authors rigorously describe both limitation and advantage of the model of interest. This way we could make a strong case for validity and usefulness of the model systems. We also welcome reviews that address issues and clarify misunderstandings in the field, since such issues have hampered the progress of the field of AMI in model systems.

Range of topics include but not limited to: (1) theory and hypothesis; (2) model systems; (3) new technologies; and (4) disease models, potential drugs, and/or perspective from clinical practice. Potential mechanisms of AMI includes but not limited to neuroendocrine disturbance, macromolecular damage (oxidative damage, AGE and abnormal protein accumulation), ER stress/autophagy, inflammatory mediators, and sex hormones. Examples of technologies include optogenetic analysis, real-time imaging systems, microfluidic systems, Omics analysis, new probes, or new drugs; those are effective to study as single or combined analysis.

To avoid any appearance of overlapped topics, we ask the followings: Title should be as specific as possible; and Abstract should address the critique of the limitation of the models (see above) if applicable.

Reference:
(1) Alzheimer’s association. www.alz.org/research/overview.asp


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