Gregorio Valdez included in most widely used neuroscience graduate textbook

Gregorio Valdez, Ph.D.

Gregorio Valdez, Ph.D.

The work of Gregorio Valdez, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, on aging synapses is included in the most recent edition of Principles of Neural Science, the most widely used book to teach neuroscience to graduate students. First published in 1981 by Elsevier, Principles of Neural Science is a textbook now in its fifth edition, which was published in October 2012.

The work included in the latest edition is on the effect of aging, exercise, and diet on synapses in the brain. It details initial studies into the beneficial effects on neural function of caloric restriction and exercise, which are among the most effective anti-aging treatments known, and might also be mediated by synapses. The studies compared the skeletal neuromuscular junction – a large, accessible peripheral synapse – of mice in various states of aging, exercise regimens, and diet restrictions. Results demonstrated a critical effect of aging on synaptic structure and provided evidence that interventions capable of extending health span and lifespan can partially reverse age-related synaptic changes.