Is “Old Age” Going Out of Date?

Researchers have recently discovered what they call “Father Time genes”, genes that decide how fast we age. This discovery could lead to anti-aging drugs that may slow, or even stop, the aging process by isolating a gene that acts as an “off switch” for aging.

Scientists have identified genes with traits defining biological age, and further research will help understand the mechanisms underlying aging and age-related diseases. This discovery resulted from a study of changes in the DNA of twins of varying ages from 32 to 80. (Twins were used because they share the same genes – so any different characteristics seen in the genes are most likely to be caused by environmental factors rather than genetic ones). Researchers found that many age-related changes are due to genes linked to cholesterol, lung function and maternal lifespan. These were also present in younger twins, which suggest these changes are triggered early in life.

These discoveries have the potential to identify the key genes involved in aging, and how they can be modified by one’s lifestyle, and thus a start to developing anti-aging therapies.

The moment in time that we will be able to slow or perhaps even stop aging is in the future. Until then, a healthy lifestyle is the most effective way to minimize the effects of aging.  A professional home care nurse can help  the patient maintain their physical and mental health by assisting with meal preparation,  exercise and overall expert care; ensuring a more productive life.