The Gardens of Ninfa, Italy. Built on the site of a Roman temple to the water nymphs, Ninfa grew into a thriving medieval town of 150 houses. In 1382, it was sacked during Papal wars, and a malaria outbreak left it a ghost town. It is now a public garden.

The human body ages through a series of processes that affect strength, health and cognition, which operate at different rates in different people. That is, the arrow of time does not fly straight.

In this talk, physicist Jean Carlson illustrates how these processes work and discusses how they interact. Her goal is to identify pathways promoting healthy aging, adaptation and resilience, and to formulate a new concept of complex time.

Key message:  Pharmaceuticals are important but lifestyle, diet and sleep are essential in staving off aging.

Watch the Video:

Watch some of the highlights:

14:00      Complex time: time is cyclical - tradeoffs, multiscale and homeostasis

14:48      Cells: white blood cells, bone cells and neurons as dynamic systems 

16:50      Systems in the body: immune, skeletal, nervous

18:45      Mechanisms of the immune system: innate and adaptive

20:45      Competence of the immune system over time

24:00      Modeling the adaptive response to inflammation and infection in the body

28:15      Disease trajectories

32:00      Bones are constantly remodeling themselves – aging disrupts this process – osteopenia and osteoporosis

36:30      Types of bone and their structure – remodeling by osteoclasts and osteoblasts – effects of aging

47:26      The brain – the five stages of brain development

50:25      The brain does not develop new neurons, the existing neurons form new connections (neuroplasticity)

53:30      The brain’s memory strategies change as you age

54:35      Systems that remain stable and those that decline with age

57:00      Behavior modification to improve cognition – diet, exercise, socializing

59:30      The gut/brain/immune system relationship in aging.