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MDLinxMapping Human Aging in the Search for Eternal Youth

Are we getting closer to understanding the genetics of human aging and potentially intervening?

Groundbreaking research is unfolding the mysteries of human aging at a genetic level. By mapping genome regions and identifying key genes associated with aging, scientists are starting to piece together a clearer picture of how and why we age, and how we may be able to intervene in this process.

Key Points:

  • An international team of more than 200 scientists conducted a genome-wide association study and identified key regions of the human genome that regulate the rate of brain aging.
  • The study utilized scans from 15,640 participants worldwide, cross-referencing changes in brain tissue with about 1 million genetic biomarkers.
  • The genes GPR139, DACH1, and APOE were found to correlate with metabolic processes affecting brain aging and a range of factors, such as cognitive function and mental health disorders.
  • The APOE ε4 allele was associated with accelerated tissue decline in the hippocampus and amygdala, and abnormal buildup of tau protein linked to Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  • BioAge Labs, Inc., a biotech firm, is actively developing agents that target molecular causes of aging with the goal of extending healthy lifespans.

Additional Points:

  • Inhibitors of NLRP3, a component of the inflammasome, could potentially prevent various age-related disorders.
  • Preclinical studies showed that NLRP3 inhibition improved cognitive function and reduced neuro-inflammation in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury.
  • The apelin pathway, which declines with age, has shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in the brain and is correlated with longevity, cognitive function, and mobility.


  • Although commercially available anti-aging interventions may still be years away, the progress made in understanding the genetics of aging provides promising insights into potential preventive measures against age-related diseases.

Neurology Latest Posts

“Neurodegenerative disorders might be better understood when we identify genetic variants that influence brain atrophy over time, compared with identification of static genetic differences.”

Authors, Nature Neuroscience
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