Wrinkles, crow’s feet? Aging skin may originate in the brain, study finds

The cosmetic industry’s most coveted elixir capable of stopping skin aging may be about to become a reality. Despite the miraculous promises of thousands of products available on the market, science shows that it is virtually impossible to stop the loss of vigor and thickness of the skin. A study by Brazilian researchers, however, shows that the secret to understanding aging may lie in understanding degenerative brain diseases.

“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 abnormal conglomerates in areas with the most sunlight.”

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

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

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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