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Cerebral ageing - What it is

Physiological ageing of the individual is often associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

 

The nervous system is a structural and functional entity that allows us to comunicate with the outer world. It's like an engine which enables us to interact with the environment. Its functions are: providing sensations and perceptions, coordinating and/or regulating our activities and our organs.
The central nervous system is composed of the encephalon and spinal cord and peripheral nervous system, mainly made up of nerves that connect the central part to the rest of the body.

Except for the liver, the encephalon is the heaviest organ of the body, and it is contained in the cranial case.

The encephalon, in turn, is composed of the cerebellum - the site of the so-called "superior cerebral functions" - , brain stem and cerebellum. Brain activities are the outcome of combined interactions of billions of nervous cells that are translated in biological individuality and personal identity.

Over the years, and through physiological ageing, one can develop neurodegenerative disorders which mainly compromise the memory and the waking state. This is a growing phenomenon; the world population aged ≥ 60 is costantly increasing. Italy is one of the countries in the world with the highest percentage of population aged over 60.

Therefore cerebral ageing is a quite widespread problem: an increased irritability, mood instability, disproportionate reactions to sensorial stimuli of mild entity, dicreasing of memory and focusing skills are some of the disorder's symptoms. In case of cerebral ageing, roughly a million neurons are lost every year, together with their main functions.

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