MIAMI – A new research study on marine snails uncovered the first cells in the nervous system to fail during aging. The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science researchers’ findings are important to better understanding the underlying mechanisms of age-related memory loss in humans.
Scientists performed tail reflex experiments on the hatchery-reared California sea hare Aplysia californica, which has a one-year lifespanand is a common neurological model used to understand the function of the nervous system. They studied two distinct age groups in families of snails – reproductive maturity and old age. The tail startle reflex of the animal is known to slow, lessen, and finally disappear as it ages.