Age-dependent cognitive decline is a major debilitating event affecting even individuals who are otherwise healthy. Understanding the molecular basis underlying these changes may increase the healthspan of the elderly population. It may also reveal insights into the pathogenesis of numerous neurodegenerative disorders characterized by cognitive deficits, as aging is the major risk factor for most of these disorders. Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative disorder, first manifests itself as deficits in encoding new memories. As AD progresses, these deficits spread to other cognitive domains that further debilitate the person before contributing to their demise. Suppression of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) increases healthspan and lifespan in several organisms. Numerous reports have linked alterations in mTOR signaling to age-dependent cognitive decline and the pathogenesis of AD. This review will discuss recent work highlighting the complex role of mTOR in cognitive aging and in the pathogenesis of AD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology