Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Press release] DNA clock helps predict lifespan

DNArepair

http://biocomicals.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html

Biocomicals by Dr. Alper Uzun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

From the 30 January 2015 University of Edinburg press release

Scientists have identified a biological clock that provides vital clues about how long a person is likely to live.

Researchers studied chemical changes to DNA that take place over a lifetime, and can help them predict an individual’s age. By comparing individuals’ actual ages with their predicted biological clock age, scientists saw a pattern emerging.

Biological age

People whose biological age was greater than their true age were more likely to die sooner than those whose biological and actual ages were the same.

Four independent studies tracked the lives of almost 5,000 older people for up to 14 years. Each person’s biological age was measured from a blood sample at the outset, and participants were followed up throughout the study.

Researchers found that the link between having a faster-running biological clock and early death held true even after accounting for other factors such as smoking, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The same results in four studies indicated a link between the biological clock and deaths from all causes. At present, it is not clear what lifestyle or genetic factors influence a person’s biological age. We have several follow-up projects planned to investigate this in detail.

Dr Riccardo Marioni

Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh

DNA modification

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with researchers in Australia and the US, measured each person’s biological age by studying a chemical modification to DNA, known as methylation.

The modification does not alter the DNA sequence, but plays an important role in biological processes and can influence how genes are turned off and on. Methylation changes can affect many genes and occur throughout a person’s life.

This new research increases our understanding of longevity and healthy ageing. It is exciting as it has identified a novel indicator of ageing, which improves the prediction of lifespan over and above the contribution of factors such as smoking, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Professor Ian Deary

Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh

International collaboration

The study is published in the journal Genome Biology and was conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, University of Queensland, Harvard University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Boston University, the Johns Hopkins University Lieber Institute for Brain Development and the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

This study was carried out at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Epidemiology (CCACE), which is supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme, a collaboration between the UK’s Research Councils and Health Departments which is led by the MRC.

 

February 2, 2015 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Press release] Living longer, not healthier

Living longer, not healthier 

From the press release

New research by UMass Medical School suggests genes that extend lifespan won’t necessarily improve health in advanced age

By Jim Fessenden, UMass Medical School Communications
January 22, 2015

Heidi A. Tissenbaum, PhD
Heidi A. Tissenbaum, PhD

A study of long-lived mutant C. elegans by UMass Medical School scientists shows that the genetically altered worms spend a greater portion of their life in a frail state and exhibit less activity as they age then typical nematodes. These findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest genes that increase longevity may not significantly increase healthy lifespan and point to the need to measure health as part of aging studies going forward.

“Our study reveals that if we want to find the genes that help us remain physically active as we age, the genes that will allow us to play tennis when we’re 70 similar to when we were 40, we have to look beyond longevity as the sole criteria. We have to start looking at new genes that might play a part in ‘healthspan.’” said Heidi A. Tissenbaum, PhD, professor of molecular, cellular & cancer biology and the program in molecular medicine and principal investigator of the study.

Genomic and technological advances have allowed scientists to identify several groups of genes that control longevity in C. elegans, a nematode used as a model system for genetic studies in the lab, as well as in yeast and flies. These genes, when examined, have analogs in mammals. The underlying assumption by scientists has always been that extending lifespan would also increase the time spent by the organism in a healthy state. However, for various reasons, most studies only closely examine these model animals while they’re still relatively young and neglect to closely examine the latter portion of the animals’ lives.

Challenging the assumption that longevity and health are intrinsically connected, Dr. Tissenbaum and colleagues sought to investigate how healthy long-lived C. elegans mutants were as they aged.

January 23, 2015 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just under a third of us will reach 65 “healthy”

 

Write text here…

 

2020health's Blog

Guest blog by Matt Hawkins, Policy and Public Affairs Assistant at the International Longevity Centre-UK

Discussion at an International Longevity Centre-UK, (ILC-UK) event held on Monday, Longevity, health and public policy, revealed that only just short of a third of the UK population will reach retirement “healthy”. Gains in life expectancy have outstripped gains in healthy life expectancy, meaning that potentially over two thirds of people in the UK could find that they are living their retirement years in ill-health.

As a think-tank dedicated to addressing the impacts of our ageing society across generations and throughout the life-course, these findings are of particular concern to ILC-UK. If people are reaching older age in ill-health then this is going to significantly decrease their capacity to remain in work and significantly increase their care needs.

Monday’s event sought to identify the obstacles we face in promoting a healthier older population and…

View original post 408 more words

July 26, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health Statistics | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: