Currently, humans can easily live for 60 years and more. This increase in life expectancy produces myriad changes in our bodies that diminish the individual’s physical and mental capacities and affect as well the functional capacity of individuals to interact appropriately with their social and physical environments. The oxidative theory of aging predicts an accumulation of oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA with age; as a consequence, the aged brain gradually suffers loss in neuronal functions, increasing the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive impairment. To date, there are no effective treatments to prevent age-related cognitive decline, making it urgent to identify the neural mechanisms that are altered during aging. In this chapter, we discuss the mechanisms that underlie synaptic plasticity, emphasizing the relationship between redox balance and neuronal function, and we also address current evidence supporting oxidative stress as an important contributing factor in brain aging.
Part of the book: Nutritional Deficiency