Gene Mutations Shows Hope Of Fighting Aging At It’s Core

May 26, 2009

UK (ChattahBox) –- The mutations of a specific gene may alter the aging process, slowing it considerably. But in order to achieve this, scientists say they have to change the way they’ve been viewing the process.   University College London professor, Linda Partridge said insulin regulates blood sugar levels and metabolism in response to food intake, while the related insulin-like growth factor 1 (Igf1) regulates growth in mammals. Mutations in genes that encode the protein components of the insulin and Igf1 signaling pathways have proved to extend lifespan in a nematode worm, the fruit fly and mice, and genetic variants for these genes in humans have proved to be associated with lifespan.

Not only is the gene itself a huge step towards slowing, and perhaps even preventing, age-based illnesses like Alzheimer’s, but it has offered a new perspective on how to work towards beating the aging process.

According to Prof Partridge, “by tacking the causes of aging itself we could treat, or at least delay, a broad spectrum of conditions simultaneously.”

The first step has been made after researchers found that a common mutation of a gene used to encode various protein cells in the insulin pathway prolongs the life of many organisms, such as worms, fruit flies, and, most recently, mice.

“The new discoveries about aging have raised the prospect of increasing the number of years that people enjoy in good health,” Partridge told The Telegraph.

The study has been released at a Royal Society conference this afternoon.


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