Ageing and the nervous system: insights from studies on invertebrates

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Abstract Ageing can have profound effects on the post-mitotic organ ofbehaviour, the brain. As yet the precise causes of thesedeleterious effects are unknown. However, clear insights intothe putative mechanisms and consequences of ageing in the CNShave been achieved through the use of invertebrate models. It isnow clear that ageing alters the endogenous properties ofneurones, their morphology, the efficacy of the connections thatthe neurones make with their targets and may even lead to neuroneloss. While the precise mechanisms underlying these changes arepresently unclear clues from post-mitotic organisms such as C.elegans have provided putative targets which are currently beinginvestigated. It is clear to date that the age-induced changesin CNS function observed in invertebrates are conserved inmammalian species and that further work on invertebrates mayprovide informative insights in to the mechanisms of neuronalageing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-97
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2001


  • ageing
  • central nervous system
  • growth factors
  • invertebrate
  • neurone loss
  • synaptic efficacy


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