Abstract

This chapter utilizes genomic concepts and evolutionary perspectives to further understand the possible links between typical brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on the two most prevalent of these: Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Aging is the major risk factor for these neurodegenerative diseases. Researching the evolutionary and molecular underpinnings of aging helps to reveal elements of the typical aging process that leave individuals more vulnerable to neurodegenerative pathologies. Very little is known about the prevalence and susceptibility of neurodegenerative diseases in nonhuman species, as only a few individuals have been observed with these neuropathologies. However, several studies have investigated the evolution of lifespan, which is closely connected with brain size in mammals, and insights can be drawn from these to enrich our understanding of neurodegeneration. This chapter explores the relationship between the typical aging process and the events in neurodegeneration. First, we examined how age-related processes can increase susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases. Second, we assessed to what extent neurodegeneration is an accelerated form of aging. We found that while at the phenotypic level both neurodegenerative diseases and the typical aging process share some characteristics, at the molecular level they show some distinctions in their profiles, such as variation in genes and gene expression. Furthermore, neurodegeneration of the brain is associated with an earlier onset of cellular, molecular, and structural age-related changes. In conclusion, a more integrative view of the aging process, both from a molecular and an evolutionary perspective, may increase our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-215
Number of pages51
JournalProgress in Brain Research
Volume275
Early online date3 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Some of the figures were created with Biorender.com ( Fig. 2). The silhouettes for Fig. 4 and Fig. 5 were taken from http://phylopic.org/ available under the Creative Commons license. BARD's research was supported by UK Research and Innovation grant number EP/S023437/1, belonging to the UKRI CDT in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent Artificial Intelligence. AOU's research is funded by a Frontiers in Science CONACyT grant (No. FC-2020/682142), PAPPIT-DGAPA-UNAM grant(IA204020) and a NERC grant (NE/P004121/1). MJP's research is funded in part by the UKRI Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications (CAMERA 2.0; EP/T022523/1). Some of this work was supported by NIGMS (5P20GM103653). The opinions in this article are not necessarily from the NIH.

Funding Information:
MJP's research is funded in part by the UKRI Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications (CAMERA 2.0; EP/T022523/1). Some of this work was supported by NIGMS (5P20GM103653). The opinions in this article are not necessarily from the NIH.

Funding Information:
AOU's research is funded by a Frontiers in Science CONACyT grant (No. FC-2020/682142), PAPPIT-DGAPA-UNAM grant(IA204020) and a NERC grant (NE/P004121/1).

Funding Information:
BARD's research was supported by UK Research and Innovation grant number EP/S023437/1, belonging to the UKRI CDT in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent Artificial Intelligence.

Data availability: Supplementary material, including Supplementary Table 1, is available on https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.pbr.2022.10.004.
Also, the supplementary table, as well as the author contributions, are available on https://github.com/b-a-r-d/Supp-material-Evo-geno-brain-PBR275.

The following is the Supplementary material related to this chapter.

Acknowledgments
Some of the figures were created with Biorender.com (Fig. 2). The silhouettes for Fig. 4 and Fig. 5 were taken from http://phylopic.org/ available under the Creative Commons license.

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Brain mass
  • Dementia
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Genomics
  • Hominin fossils
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Evolutionary and genomic perspectives of brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this