\nNormally, the brain plays a major role in lower urinary tract function: it enables individuals to attain continence and to decide when and how fully to void; it also coordinates sphincter control and facilitates or inhibits LUT reflexes. Although ageing and age-related diseases affect every organ in the body--including the brain--their impact on the brain’s role in continence and incontinence has only recently been investigated. In this presentation, we will review current understanding as well as emerging data regarding the ageing brain’s role in continence and incontinence, including the most common form in seniors: the overactive bladder (OAB).\n
Lori A. Birder
\nLower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), in particular storage symptoms are a major health related problem in the elderly. There is little information to explain how aging alters normal bladder physiology and how these changes contribute to the etiology of LUT disorders in the elderly. To date, most research concerning age-related bladder dysfunction has focused on detrusor muscle function and changes in the central neurological control of age-related LUT function; however, there is almost nothing known about how aging affects the urothelium (UT). The UT is associated with the nervous system via a local UT-afferent signaling pathway. Aged UT exhibits altered mitochondrial function and increased production of reactive oxygen species, which we hypothesize leads to defects in UT-afferent signaling, culminating in abnormal urodynamic behavior.