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Author: Lejen       Show all posts   Read mode

Post time 10-7-2013 11:39 AM | Show all posts |Read mode
Scientists believe new blood test will be able to predict ageing

A new blood test could predict how fast people will age, and pave the way for treatments to be developed to tackle conditions associated with getting older, new research has found.

New research could mean a blood test in furture may be able to predict how fast we will age Photo: REX
By Claire Carter9:12AM BST 09 Jul 20133 Comments

Scientists have identified specific chemical markers, known as metabolites, in the blood linked with ageing.

The research suggests the amount of one of the 22 metabolites found could indicate faster ageing in adult life, and scientists believe it may be possible identify this with a blood test in the future.

Ana Valdes, lead researcher at Kings College, which carried out the research, said: As these 22 metabolites linked to ageing are detectable in the blood, we can now predict actual age from a blood sample pretty accurately and in the future this can be refined to potentially identify future rapid biological ageing in individuals.

This unique metabolite, which is related to age and age-related diseases, was different in genetically identical twins that had very different weight at birth. This shows us that birth weight affects a molecular mechanism that alters this metabolite.

The specific metabolite is linked to traits such as lung function and bone mineral density as well as birth weight, which is already known to affect ageing. Scientists say levels of it may be determined in the womb and affected by nutrition during development.

The study was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

It analysed blood samples donated by more than 6,000 twins, and used this to identify 22 metabolites directly linked to chronological age.

Professor Tim Spector, head of the department of twin research at the university, told the Daily Express: Scientists have known for a long time that a persons weight at the time of birth is an important determinant of health in middle and old age, and that people with low birth weight are more susceptible to age related diseases.

So far the molecular mechanisms that link low birth weight to health or disease in old age had remained elusive, but this discovery has revealed one of the molecular pathways involved.

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