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The Tiny Region in the Brain Called Hypothalamus Influences Aging • Mirror Daily

Stem cells in the hypothalamus control aging, and might even reverse the process

(Mirror Daily, United States) – New research discovered the main part of the brain which can contribute to a longer lifespan and keep aging at bay. This component is the hypothalamus, an agglomeration of neurons at the brain’s base. The tiny body part can decide the speed at which the body ages.

Researchers performed tests on mice, and discovered how several stem cells placed in the brain region can control the aging process. This is strongly related to the ‘well-being’ of these cells. As time passes and they start damaging either naturally or because of external factors, the organs start aging.

The results on mice might be applied on humans as well

These tests only showed the influence of the hypothalamus on mice, but researchers say humans are likely to function the same. Stem cells in this brain region decline over time, and this process is unavoidable. Therefore, it is related to aging of the entire body.

Researchers also bring good news. During their experiments, they discovered the damage done by this stem cell loss is not irreversible. If they replenished these cells or their products, they could slow down the aging process. In some cases, they could even reverse some of the effects of the damage.

What does the hypothalamus do?

The hypothalamus is responsible with taking care of many processes taking place in the body. One of its main roles is taking care everything is balanced, and this is called homeostasis. Several processes it directs are blood pressure, heart rate, sex drive, appetite, sleep cycles, and controls many hormones.

These stem cells which are so important for aging turn into neurons when they mature. The research, published in the journal Nature, showed how they started being damaged in mice at 10 months of age. A few months later, the first aging signs started appearing.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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