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Institute of Healthy Ageing

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Prof Timothy Cowen

Prof Timothy Cowen

Address

Dept. Anatomy and Developmental Biology, UCL
Royal Free Campus, Rowland Hill St
London
NW3 2PF

Appointments

  • Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology of Ageing
    Div of Biosciences
    Faculty of Life Sciences

Joined UCL

2007-10-01

Our research focuses on the mechanisms of ageing in the nervous system. An early and important discovery was that peripheral neurons, like neurons of the central nervous system, are selectively vulnerable during ageing. Certain groups of neurons exhibit loss of axons and dendrites and shrinkage of the cell soma and may eventually die, while others appear to survive into extreme old age apparently unimpaired. We describe these groups of neurons as 'vulnerable' and 'protected', respectively. Selective vulnerability, but not always of the same groups of neurons, is characteristic of the age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and motor neuron disease. The causes of selective vulnerability are unknown.

Keywords

Mechanisms of ageing in the nervous system