Aging has a profound and devastating effect on the brain. Old age is accompanied by declining cognitive function and enhanced risk of brain diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. A key question is whether cells with regenerative potential contribute to brain health and even brain "rejuvenation." This review discusses mechanisms that regulate neural stem cells (NSCs) during aging, focusing on the effect of metabolism, genetic regulation, and the surrounding niche. We also explore emerging rejuvenating strategies for old NSCs. Finally, we consider how new technologies may help harness NSCs' potential to restore healthy brain function during physiological and pathological aging.
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