A healthy brain can be maintained by a person at old age through activities that exercise the brain like a daily crossword puzzle. The University of Edinburgh's scientists are doing further research on this subject with the object of identifying the 'survival genes' in the brain.
The awakened genes add capacity to the brain to resist the after effects of drugs, strokes, and also contribute towards the development of the brain where unborn babies are concerned. Gene therapies and smarter drugs can be developed as a result of these findings, which will also contribute towards checking neurological diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. There is a reactivation process in the case of several unused genes when the brain cells are given stimulation, and these genes contribute towards an active brain.
The new discovery also has its implications upon unborn babies where the survival genes are affected by maternal drug taking. The turning on of the master genetic controller CREB results in the survival genes getting turned on. The research also targets at identifying the CREB-controlled genes which contribute towards the longer life of the brain, and make it more trauma resistant. The project is being funded by the Royal Society and Tenovus, and the Wellcome Trust.