Astroglia in ageing

  • Alexei Verkhratsky Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK
Keywords: Ageing; astrocyte; astroglial cradle; synaptic transmission; reactive astrogliosis; neuroplasticity


Astroglia are neural cells of ectodermal, neuroepithelial origin responsible for homoeostasis and defence of the central nervous system (CNS). Ageing reduces the functional capacity of all organs, so does that of the nervous system, the latter is evident in the reduction of cognitive abilities, learning and memory. At the same time the progression of these deficits is very much individual and lifestyle dependent, indicating operation of mechanisms counterbalancing age-dependent decline. In physiological ageing astrocytes undergo morphological atrophy and functional asthenia; astrocytic paralysis facilitates progression of age-dependent neurodegenerative disorders.  Astroglial status and homoeostatic capabilities are influenced by lifestyle including intellectual engagement, social interactions, physical exercise, and healthy diet.  Maintenance of healthy lifestyle is paramount for cognitive longevity. 

Author Biography

Alexei Verkhratsky, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK

MD, PhD, DSc, MAE, ML, MPAN, MSASA, Prof., Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PT, U K,  AchucarroCenter for NeuroscienceIKERBASQUE, 48011 Bilbao


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How to Cite
Verkhratsky, A. (2021). Astroglia in ageing. Ageing and Longevity, 2(1), 1-15. Retrieved from