Aging of the brain will spontaneously prime microglia, the brain’s immune cells. This is why older people suffer far greater damage from strokes, head injuries, and infections than younger people.
It may also be why they develop neurodegenerative diseases at a far higher rate than younger people. Aging is the primary risk factor for neurodegenerative disorders, mainly for this reason.
Because their microglia are chronically primed, any infection, vaccination, or exposure to a source of inflammation throws older people’s microglia into full destructive force, causing their nervous systems to degenerate much faster.
But aging carries a number of other risks. For example, as we age our antioxidant network is less efficient, putting us at a higher risk of damage from free radicals and lipid peroxidation.
Our detoxification systems are often impaired as well, and this makes us more susceptible to a number of environmental toxins as well as drug complications.
Finally, immune deficiency is common and increases one’s risk of autoimmune diseases, cancer, chronic inflammation and infections as well as making it difficult to cure infections. This can lead to priming and chronic microglial activation.
Fortunately, there are a number of nutritional measures you can take to reduce these problems. Exercise is also critical and can correct many of these problems when combined with good nutrition.
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