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Science finds new genes for a longer life

Science finds new genes for a longer life


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Doctors are studying the effects of certain genes on life expectancy

Most people certainly hope to reach an old age as healthy as possible. Researchers have now discovered new genes that are related to the life expectancy of parents. Perhaps one day these genes can be used to extend human life expectancy.

The researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School found that previously undiscovered genes affect parents' life expectancy. This has increased the number of genes that are known to have a positive impact on life expectancy. The experts published a press release on the results of their study.

Scientists analyze the data from 389,166 subjects

How long we live depends on a number of factors, including our lifestyle and balanced blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But genetics and how long our parents lived also play an important role in lifespan. The study conducted a genome-wide search for variants that affect how long the participants' parents lived. To this end, the research team examined a total of 389,166 volunteer participants. The volunteers' DNA samples carry the genetics of their biological parents, so that the experts were able to determine and study exceptionally long lifetimes.

Further genetic variants with an impact on life expectancy were found

Eight genetic variants have so far been linked to the human lifespan, mainly in heart disease and dementia. The new study expanded these genetic variants to a total of 25 genes. Some of these genes were specifically related to the lifespan of mothers or fathers.

Manipulation of inflammatory and cardiovascular signaling pathways can extend lifespan

“We have identified new ways that contribute to survival and confirm other existing ways. Inflammatory and cardiovascular signaling pathways offer potentially changeable targets to reduce the risk of premature death and improve health, ”explains Dr. Luke Pilling in the press release.

Genes involved in senescence play an important role

Genes that are involved in the so-called senescence (a state that cells take after damage) play an important role in longevity, the researchers say. It has already been shown that senescence-based drugs extend the life of laboratory animals. The researchers suspect that genes associated with inflammation and autoimmunity could enable anti-inflammatory treatments that could prolong life.

Blood pressure and cholesterol levels should be monitored throughout life

The study also found evidence that the genetic variants for the average lifespan also influence an exceptionally long life expectancy. “This study helps pave the way for new treatment. The strong role of genes that affect the risk of heart disease once again underlines the importance of controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels throughout life, ”said study leader Professor David Melzer from the University of Exeter Medical School.

A healthy lifestyle can offset the negative effects of many genes

A healthy lifestyle is very important and can probably offset the negative effects of most genes found so far, the experts speculate. The results expand the number of genetic markers that are now associated with exceptional longevity, the experts say. More importantly, however, the results add to a growing body of knowledge that highlights specific goals and biological pathways that help develop interventions that maintain health and independence later in life, the researchers add. (as)

Author and source information


Video: An Introduction to the Human Genome. HMX Genetics (June 2022).


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