Article Type

Original Study


Objectives This work aimed to study the effect of aging on the structure of the hippocampus in the adult and aged male albino rats. Background Dementia is one of the most important problems nowadays. Aging is associated with learning and memory impairments. Aging is the progressive accumulation of changes with time that are associated with or responsible for the ever-increasing susceptibility to disease and death, which accompanies advancing age. The hippocampal formation is one of the most common brain areas affected by aging in both humans and other mammalian species. Materials and methods Eighteen male albino rats were divided into three groups of six rats each: Group I included adult animals aged 6 months; group II included rats aged 20 months; and group III included rats aged 24 months. All animals were killed after 8 weeks. Hippocampus sections were prepared for light microscopic examination. Morphometric and statistical analysis were carried out. Results In comparison with the control group aged 8 months, both groups aged 22 and 26 months showed a significant decrease in the number of pyramidal cells of the hippocampus (P<0.001), and a significant increase in the astrocyte surface area in glial fibrillary acidic protein immunostaining (P<0.001). Conclusion Aging process involves degenerative changes in the hippocampus. Aging is more serious as it can produce Alzheimer's disease-like pathological changes. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60–80% of dementia cases.