ELLS Guest Blog by Kanchan Anand
It is fascinating to learn that a tortoise can easily live over 200 years, while humans rarely cross 100 years. Dogs usually reach the age of 12-15, mice can turn three years of age and mayflies only live a single day. But irrespective of the individual life span, the common denominator remains that eventually all organisms age with time. Ageing affects our tissues and organs like heart, nerves, muscles, bones, and even the brain is no exception. Dementia is one of the age-related brain disorders and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most common contributing factors. The year 2010 marked hundred years since the name Alzheimer was coined for AD and, according to some reports (Alzheimer’s disease International, Alzheimer.net), there are already over 36 million cases worldwide – a number which is predicted to triple by the end of 2050. This raises several important questions for scientists, namely how to understand (a) the process of ageing itself and (b) the fundamental basis of age-related disorders such as AD.
While the exact biological cause of ageing still remains to be discovered, the accompanying side effects are being increasingly recognized and researched for.