School of Medical and Health Sciences
Australian Research Council
ARC Number : FL200100220
One of the most recognisable features of ageing is a decline in brain health and cognitive dysfunction, which is associated with perturbations to regular lipid homeostasis. Although ageing is the largest risk factor for several neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, a loss in cognitive function is commonly observed in adults over the age of 65. Despite the prevalence of normal age-related cognitive decline, there is a lack of effective methods to improve the health of the ageing brain. In light of this, exercise has shown promise for positively influencing neurocognitive health and associated lipid profiles. This review summarises age-related changes in several lipid classes that are found in the brain, including fatty acyls, glycerolipids, phospholipids, sphingolipids and sterols, and explores the consequences of age-associated pathological cognitive decline on these lipid classes. Evidence of the positive effects of exercise on the affected lipid profiles are also discussed to highlight the potential for exercise to be used therapeutically to mitigate age-related changes to lipid metabolism and prevent cognitive decline in later life.
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