Neuroscientist Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, has spent 20 years unearthing and examining various molecules with neuroprotective and neurodegenerative properties. These molecules are found in or on different cell types in the brain and on the blood vessels abutting it, or floating in the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes it. And they become increasingly important as we age.
Wyss-Coray and his colleagues have turned up substances in blood that can accelerate or slow down the brain-aging clock. They’ve identified proteins on blood-vessel surfaces through which some of these molecules can act on the brain, despite the existence of the blood-brain barrier. He’s even shown that older mice getting young mouse cerebrospinal fluid look and act younger.
I asked Wyss-Coray, the D. H. Chen Distinguished Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences and the director of the Phil and Penny Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience, to tie together his findings in the field of cognitive rejuvenation.