Secret to understanding skin aging may lie in the brain

RIO – The most coveted elixir by the cosmetics industry, capable of stopping the skin aging, may be closer to becoming real. Although science shows that it is practically impossible to stop the loss of vigor and thickness of the skin, a study by Brazilian researchers shows that the secret to understanding aging may lie in the understanding of degenerative brain diseases.

Work published this week in the scientific journal Neurobiology of Aging, by neuroscientists Marilia Zaluar Guimaraes and Stevens Rehengives UFRJ It’s from D’Or Research Instituterevealed that the loss of skin plumpness is caused by the same anomalous protein conglomerates responsible for the emergence of degenerative brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s. The work opens an unprecedented and very promising path to understanding the disease and also to unlocking the secrets of aging.

“We were able to gather evidence that clusters of the same proteins that cause neurodegenerative diseases are present in the skin,” said neuroscientist Marília Zaluar Guimarães. “We also found that these proteins have a greater tendency to form anomalous conglomerates in areas that are most exposed to the sun.”

Parkinson’s disease arises when certain proteins cluster abnormally causing the death of neurons responsible for motor control. These same clusters in the skin trigger inflammation and trigger a mechanism that reduces the proliferation of skin cells, a situation consistent with loss of vigor and aging.

“We used human skin reconstituted in the laboratory to understand what happens when exposed to these protein clusters,” explained Guimarães. “When we put these proteins on the skin, it became thinner very quickly.”

Scientists were also able to determine that all people who suffer from Parkinson’s have the anomalous clusters not only in the brain, but also in the skin. The visible signs of aging, however, do not work for the diagnosis of brain disease. It turns out that many people can have the abnormal proteins in the skin, but not in the brain.

“Other studies had already managed to determine that these proteins initially appear in the intestine, causing constipation,” said the neuroscientist. “Then, they are captured by cells that take them to the central nervous system. And it is from there that they finally go to the skin. That is, in theory, when they reach the skin, they have already passed through the brain. But many investigations are still ongoing.”

Trying to understand the mechanisms that cause clusters to cause aging can open up opportunities for intervention — the cosmetics industry’s holy grail.

At the same time, this understanding could help scientists stop the process that leads to Parkinson’s disease in the brain.

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