The book describes the mechanisms involved in the maintenance of neuroendocrine-immune interactions in ageing. The lack of this maintenance leads to the appearance of age-related diseases (cancer, infections, dementia) and subsequent disability. The capacity of some hormones or nutritional factors in restoring and remodelling the neuroendocrine-immune response during ageing is reported presenting possible new anti-ageing strategies in order to reach healthy ageing and longevity.
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Evolutionary aspects for the neuroendocrine immune network and ageing (R.H. Straub).
II. Ageing of the immune system.
Immunosenescence (R. Solana, G. Pawelec). Zinc-binding proteins (metallothionein and ?-2 macroglobulin) as potential biological markers of immunosenescence (E. Mocchegiani et al.). Neutrophil ageing and immunosenescence (S.K. Butcher et al.). Apoptosis and ageing (A. Larbi et al.). MHC-unrestricted cytotoxicity in ageing (M. Provinciali, A. Donnini, R.E. Francesca). Major histocompatibility complex polymorphisms and ageing (G. Candore et al.).
III. Ageing of the endocrine system.
Neuroplascticity in the human hypothalamus during ageing (M.A. Hofman, D.F. Swaab). The role of growth hormone signalling in the control of ageing (A. Bartke et al.). Ageing and the adrenal cortex (V. Lamounier-Zepter, S.R. Bornstein). Hormonal changes in ageing men (E. Plas, S. Madersbacher, P. Berger). Ageing and the endocrine circadian system (Y. Touitou, E. Haus). Melatonin rhythms, melatonin supplementation and sleep in old age (R.F. Riemersma et al.).
IV. Ageing of the nervous system.
Age-related changes of the human autonomic nervous system (M. Agelink, R. Malessa, D. Ziegler). Age-related alterations in autonomic nervous innervation (D.L. Bellinger, K.S. Madden, D. Lorton). Ageing and the neuroendocrine system of the gut (M. El-Salhy). Modulating effects of nutrition on brain ageing (C. Bertoni-Freddari et al.). Ageing-related role of nitric oxide in the brain (S. Mariotto et al.).
V. Links between one global system and another global system during the ageing process.
Introduction (R.H. Straub). Plasticity of neuroendocrine-thymus interactions during ontogeny and ageing: Role of zinc (E. Mocchegiani et al.). Adverse lucocorticoid actions and their relevance to brain ageing (K. Dinkel, R.M. Sapolsky). Neuroendocrine immune aspects of osteoporosis during the ageing process (M. Peterlik).
VI. The ageing process and chronic inflammatory diseases.
Neuroendocrine immune mechanisms of accelerated ageing in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases (R.H. Straub, J. Schölmerich, M. Cutolo). Thyroid autoimmunity and ageing (S. Mariotti, G. Pinna, A. Pinchera). The clinical importance of proinflammatory cytokines in elderly populations (H. Bruunsgaard, K. Krabbe).
Possible new anti-ageing strategies related to neuroendocrine immune interactions (E. Mocchegiani, R.H. Straub). Concluding remarks and future directions (I. Berczi, A. Szentivanyi).
Dr. Eugenio Mocchegiani has 40 years expertise as researcher at INRCA, The Italian National Institute of Health and Science on Aging. For the past 10 years, he has been the Head of the Centre of Nutrition and Aging at INRCA. His field of research concerns the role of endocrine and nutritional factors in immunosenescence, tumurs, infectious diseases, metabolic diseases and dementia. More specifically, he has contributed to advance knowledge on zinc binding proteins as genetic and biological markers of aging. Dr. Mocchegiani has received several grants from the Italian Ministry of Health for studies around micronutrients and aging. Additionally, he was coordinator of the EU Project ZINCAGE in the FP6 program, and as Operative Unit in the EU project MARK-AGE in the FP7 program. Dr. Mocchegiani has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in the field of nutrition and gerontology and is a member of the editorial board of several journals dedicated to these thematic areas.