My lab has previously shown that systemic manipulations such as heterochronic parabiosis (in which the circulatory system of an old and young animal are connected), administration of young blood plasma, or administration of exercise-induced blood factors can partially reverse age-related loss of plasticity in the aged brain. As a consequence, we can now consider reactivating latent plasticity dormant in the aged brain as a means to rejuvenate regenerative, synaptic and cognitive functions late in life. Interestingly, work from my lab has revealed bi-directionality in the influence of the systemic environment indicating pro-youthful factors in young blood or following exercise elicit rejuvenation while pro-aging factors in old blood drive pre-mature aging. Our work has further indicated that mitigating the effect of pro-aging factors in old blood may also provide an effective approach to rejuvenate aging phenotypes. The goal of my research program is to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms that can be targeted to halt the aging process or promote rejuvenation in the old brain, as a means to counteract dementia-related neurodegenerative disease in the elderly, providing a unique therapeutic approach.