Accumulation of D-aspartic acid with age in the human brain

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Science  24 Jun 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4604, pp. 1407-1408
DOI: 10.1126/science.6857259


An age-related accumulation of D-aspartic acid was detected in the white matter of ten normal brains from individuals aged 30 to 80 years. Gray matter showed no systematic increase in D-aspartic acid. The rate constant for D-aspartate formation in the brain is equal to the predicted value calculated for 37 degrees C. Accumulation of the uncommon D-aspartate isomer in myelinated white matter implies that there is little or no turnover of this tissue, and this may have a bearing on dysfunction of the aging brain or on other diseases of myelin.

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