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Other factors involved in age-related decline of nerve function

Narrator:    This is Science Today. A new finding reveals that age-related decline in the neurological function of the peripheral nervous system may be related to other factors besides aging. Ari Green, who co-led the University of California, San Francisco study, explains that the peripheral nerves connect to the brain and spinal cord. They found that other factors, including blood sugar levels, can contribute to the decline of nerve function.

Green:    It's important in that it points us towards understanding how might these metabolic factors drive neuronal survival and function and how might it affect survival and function associated with age.

Narrator:    Green says it's also important because metabolic factors that can accelerate decline in nerve function can be modified.

Green:    We're entering an age where it may be a reasonable expectation for people to say, is there something I can do and what can I do and how can I be best advised by my doctors about what can be done? We're in the infancy there, we don't understand these things so well that we know what to do next yet, but what we are ready to do is take the next step at discovery.

Narrator:    For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.