Does a healthy lifestyle promote cognitive performance in old age? What new therapeutic approaches can be used to extend the health span in old age? What must the environment look like so that people can age healthy and satisfied? These are just a few examples of the pressing questions that society and politics are currently posing to science. The Leibniz Research Alliance Healthy Ageing wants to provide answers.
  1. Cancer or degenerative diseases?
    01/31/2018 · FLI Leibniz Institute on Aging

    Above the age of 50, the most likely causes of death are cancer and degenerative diseases such as heart failure, dementia or diabetes. Since life expectancy has been considerably growing over the last 150 years, the frequency of age-specific diseases has also been on the rise. While death due to cancer is most prevalent among the 60 year olds, its contribution to total mortality declines at more advanced ages, while degenerative diseases are on the rise up to the oldest age groups. Why does this occur and can this shift in cause of death be at least partially explained by studying the molecular alterations that occur as we get older and compare them to the molecular signatures of each of these diseases? To address this question, a large-scale international collaborative effort involving research teams from Kiel and Jena, Germany, and from Maryland, USA, led by Professor Christoph Kaleta investigated to which extent conserved age-related changes in the activity of genes are connected to changes observed in aging diseases. Results from their study have now been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

    read more

  2. Molecular Chaperones Shown to Assist in the Fight against Huntington Disease
    12/12/2017 · FMP Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie

    Huntington’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease. It is always fatal. The disease is caused by a defect in the Huntingtin gene. To this day, no therapy will put a stop to the insidious disintegration of brain cells. Fortunately, scientists of the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin in collaboration with their peers working at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and at the Charité University Hospital discovered a natural mechanism, which not only suppresses the build-up of pathogenic amyloid fibrils but also disaggregates them. The scientists declare that the newly discovered molecular chaperones may soon be crucial parts of new therapy approaches. Recently, they published their work in the EMBO Journal.

    read more

  3. Tracking the effects of air pollution on the brain
    09/14/2017 · IUF Leibniz Institute for Environmental Medicine

    Researchers from the IUF – Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Düsseldorf (Germany) showed in collaboration with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Bilthoven (The Netherlands) and with the Division of Molecular Psychiatry at the University Medical Center Göttingen (Germany) that traffic-related airborne pollutants accelerate the formation of amyloid plaques and enhance motor function impairment in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. The corresponding study was recently published in the international journal „Particle and Fibre Toxicology“.

    read more