October 4


The epigenetic clock, biological age, and chronic diseases

By heheals

October 4, 2020

The epigenetic clock, biological age, and chronic diseases

Air date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 3:00:00 PM

Category: WALS – Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

Runtime: 01:03:40

Description: NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

It has been a long standing goal to develop molecular biomarkers of biological age. Recent studies demonstrate that powerful epigenetic biomarkers of aging can be defined based on DNA methylation levels. For example, the epigenetic clock (PMID: 24138928) is a multivariate age estimation method that applies to sorted cell types (CD4T cells or neurons), complex tissues, and organs and even prenatal brain samples. The epigenetic clock is an attractive biomarker of aging because a) it applies to most human and chimpanzee tissues, b) its accurate measurement of chronological age is unprecedented, c) it is predictive of all-cause mortality even after adjusting for a variety of known risk factors, d) it correlates with measures of cognitive and physical fitness in the elderly, and e) it has been found useful for detecting accelerated aging effects due to obesity, Down syndrome, and HIV infection. Recent genomewide association studies shed light on the underlying biological mechanisms.

For more information go to https://oir.nih.gov/wals

Author: Steve Horvath, Sc.D., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Permanent link: http://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?19753



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  1. A recent survey showed that young ppl are 76% positive about aging. Its this positive bias that this research and its pursuit will always come up against. This perception of 'The Golden Years', a weird type of fondness for getting old is, in its own right, a type of early senility in and of itself. We think that wisdom (which for the most part is only for the benefit of others – offspring, community etc) will in some way redeem the GP visits, the health scares and the anxiety of our failing body. We are in way both cursed and blessed with positive bias, a type of inebriation of the brain itself, that causes us to scoff at the idea of challenging the aging process. Every form of potential ailment grows drastically, from chronic pain to blood pressure to cancer to dementias, and endless list.

    This romanticism of aging has to be challenged. The amount of money, care and heartache that comes with aging is of an immense toll. Hospitals, big pharma, carers, taxation on health, all ads up but unfortunately norms and whats normal is always perceived as good, even if its bad.

    On a lighter note its great to see the amount of philanthropy investment thats being directed in aging. 🙂

  2. I look far younger than my peers. I look like a 10 years younger than my true age. Does it mean I have an advantaged epigenetic clock. Is this coming from my life style or from my genes or DNA of my parents. Please I need to be tested.

  3. I notice that puerile who smoke or use tobacco,and drink alcohol AGE FASTER.
    also puerile who are obese from poor diet.
    also people who suffer Long- term stress.
    they all look older than they should.
    me. it's long term stress. 6 years at a rotten job aged me 25 years. I look and feel like hell.

  4. @43:33: I read that paper before 😛

    For anyone interested in this stuff, I would also recommend reading "Aging Hematopoietic Stem Cells Decline in Function and Exhibit Epigenetic Dysregulation" if you haven't already. It's a landmark paper in showing epigenetic shifts with age.

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