Aging, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, CDC, OBGYNE / 03.05.2017 Interview with: Mary C. White, ScD Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, CDC Atlanta GA 30341 What is the background for this study? Response: For women between the ages of 21 to 65, Pap testing every three years, or Pap testing with HPV co-testing every five years, can prevent cervical cancers and deaths. Current recommendations state that women 65 and older and not otherwise at special risk can skip Pap tests, but only if they have had three consecutive negative Pap screening tests or two consecutive negative co-tests over the past 10 years, with the most recent done within the past five years. We used data from two federal cancer registry programs to examine how cervical cancer risk changes with age, after excluding women who have had a hysterectomy. We also examined data from a federal national health survey to examine the proportion of women who either had never been tested or had not been tested in the last 5 years. (more…)
Aging, AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension / 02.05.2017 Interview with: Dr. Rathi Ravindrarajah PhD Division of Health and Social Care Research Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine Guy’s Campus King’s College London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clinical trials show that it is beneficial to lower systolic blood pressure (SBP) in adults aged 80 and over, but non-randomized epidemiological studies suggest that lower systolic blood pressure may be associated with a higher risk of mortality. Our main findings were that there was a terminal decline in systolic blood pressure in the final 2 years of life suggesting that the higher mortality in those with a low SBP shown in non-randomized epidemiological studies might be due to reverse causation. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Mammograms, NYU / 21.04.2017 Interview with: Cindy S. Lee, MD Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco Now with Department of Radiology NYU Langone Medical Center, Garden City, New York What led you and colleagues to conduct this study? Response: I am a breast imager. I see patients who come in for their screening mammograms and I get asked, a lot, if patients aged 75 years and older should continue screening, because of their age. There is not enough evidence out there to determine how breast cancer screening benefits women older than 75. In fact, all previously randomized trials of screening mammography excluded people older than 75 years. Unfortunately, age is the biggest risk factor for breast cancer, so as patients get older, they have higher risks of developing breast cancer. It is therefore important to know how well screening mammography works in these patients. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Nutrition / 21.04.2017 Interview with: Leyuan Liu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Center for Translational Cancer Research Institute of Biosciences and Technology Texas A&M University Houston, Texas 77030 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our research team has been working on the question why people develop cancers and how we can prevent or cure them. In contrast to public views, we concluded from our studies that cancers, similar to our age-related diseases, originate from inefficiencies of our body to clean up cellular wastes accumulated during our lifespan. The most important pathway to clean up those wastes is called autophagy, or cellular self-eating behavior. We study how autophagy is regulated, how autophagy causes cancers, and whether we can control autophagy to prevent or cure cancers. Previously we found autophagy is regulated by a protein called MAP1S and mice without MAP1S are more likely to develop liver cancer. We have been seeking ways to improve MAP1S-mediated autophagy to prevent liver cancer. Our current study show that spermidine, a natural component existing in many foods, can increase the stability of MAP1S proteins and activate MAP1S-mediated autophagy. Concurrent with the benefits of expand mouse lifespans ours also reported, spermidine can suppress the development of liver fibrosis and liver cancer specifically through MAP1S if we add spermidine into the daily drinking water of mice. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Karolinski Institute, Social Issues / 14.03.2017 Interview with: Dr. Karin Modig, PhD Institute of Environmental Medicine,Epidemiology Karolinska Institute What is the background for this study? Response: The background to the study was that even though it is established that parents live longer than non-parents the underlying mechanisms are not clear. And it was not known how the association changed with the age of the parents. We hypothesize that if social support is one mechanism – the association between having children and the death risk of parents-non-parents would increase with age of the parents, when health starts to deteriorate and the need of support increases. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews / 08.03.2017 Interview with: Ana O'Loghlen Group Leader Epigenetics & Cellular Senescence Blizard Institute Queen Mary University of London London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The activation of senescence is an important cellular response to a stress signal. The senescent cell stops proliferating and this avoid that damaged cells propagate in our body, creating tissue damage. Our study has found a particular protein, integrin beta 3 subunit, regulating this cellular phenotype, senescence. We have further provided details of the mechanism of how this integrin does this. We have found that the activation of the TGF beta pathway is important for integrin beta 3 to induce senescence and that this integrin is regulated by epigenetically by the polycomb protein CBX7. Interestingly, although we have not provided functional studies, we find that integrin beta 3 is highly expressed during aging in human and mouse. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, JAMA, Johns Hopkins / 06.03.2017 Interview with: Dr. Adele Gorman PhD Johns Hopkins Center on Aging & Health The Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland What is the background for this study? Response: Hearing loss affects many people, especially older adults. We have previously estimated how common hearing loss is across different age groups and how many adults have hearing loss today. However, we did not know the number of people that are expected to have hearing loss in the coming decades. This is important to know in order to appropriately plan for future hearing health care needs. Recently the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine highlighted the crucial need to address hearing loss and made recommendations to improve hearing health care services. However, these recommendations should be considered by policy makers in the context of the number of adults with hearing loss in the coming years. (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, PLoS / 04.03.2017 Interview with: Emma van Bussel MD, MSc Academic Medical Center | University of Amsterdam Amsterdam | The Netherlands What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Dementia forms a high social and economic burden on society. Since there is a growing number of older people, the occurrence of dementia is expected to increase over the years to come. For future planning of care, it is important to have reliable predictions on new dementia cases for the population at large. Studies in Western countries suggested that the incidence per 1000 person years is declining. We studied the incidence trend of dementia in the Netherlands in primary care registry data, in a population of over 800,000 older people (60 years and over) for the years 1992 to 2014. Our results indicate a small increase of 2.1% (95% CI 0.5% to 3.8%) per year in dementia incidence over the past decades. The trend did not change in the years after 2003, when a national program was developed to support dementia care and research, compared to the years prior to 2003. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Genetic Research, Melanoma / 01.03.2017 Interview with: Reeti Behera, Ph.D. Postdoctoral fellow in the Weeraratna lab The Wistar Institute Philadelphia PA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Malignant melanoma is an aggressive disease and is the cause of the majority of skin cancer deaths. In particular, older individuals have a much poorer prognosis for melanoma and are more resistant to targeted therapy than compared to young individuals. A recently published study from our lab has shown that age-related changes in secreted factors in the microenvironment can drive melanoma progression and therapy resistance. Klotho is a protein whose expression levels decreases with aging. In this study, we have shown that a decrease in klotho levels in the aged microenvironment drives melanoma aggression and therapy resistance by promoting the oncogenic signaling pathway Wnt5A. We also have shown that reconstituting klotho levels in the aged microenvironment by using rosiglitazone, an FDA-approved drug used to treat diabetes, can reduce tumor burden in aged mice. We also show that Klotho expression is decreased in therapy-resistant melanoma tumors. Reconstituting klotho levels in therapy-resistant melanoma cells by treating with rosiglitazone can inhibit Wnt5A levels and MAPK pathway. We also show that rosiglitazone can significantly decrease therapy-resistant tumor burden in the aged mice, but not in the young. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Nutrition / 14.02.2017 Interview with: John C. Price, Ph.D Asst. Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry Brigham Young University Provo, Utah What is the background for this study? Response: Since 1930 it has been known that the rate of biological aging could be modified by the diet.  In mice for example if you let them eat as much as they want they will live almost 3 years.  Providing essentially the same diet but controlling the number of total calories, there is an almost linear increase in lifespan as you restrict calories.  The studies in mice and rats have been repeated hundreds of times since that time.  There have been a lot of somewhat conflictive observations, like increased formation of new mitochondria, and increased autophagy which targets organelles for degradation, during stable reduced calorie intake. This expectation, that a restricted diet with fewer calories available to the animal could support increased protein synthesis and degradation and result in increased lifespan, is what got us interested in studying Calorie Restriction.  So we measured the relative synthesis rates for several hundred proteins in 18 month old calorie restricted mice which were experiencing the benefits of improved health and lifespan.  We found overwhelmingly that the calorie restricted mice had reduced synthesis rates down to as low as 25% of the age matched control group.  This observation has now been independently confirmed by multiple groups. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Biomarkers / 09.01.2017 Interview with: Paola Sebastiani PhD Department of Biostatistics Boston University School of Public Health Boston, MA 02118 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Human life expectancy has increased steadily in the last century and has led to a growth of the elderly population and a need for prevention strategies and interventions that promote healthy aging. A challenge in assessing the effect of such interventions is ‘what to measure’ because people can age very differently from one another. Our study used 19 blood biomarkers that include for example cholesterol level and hemoglobin A1C to discover 26 biological signatures of aging in approximately 4,700 participants of the Long Life Family Study. These signatures are essentially patterns of values of the 19 biomarkers and we showed that one of these signatures is associated with better physical and cognitive functions, and reduced risk for disease and mortality compared to the most common signature in the study. Additional signatures predict varying risk for diabetes, cardiovascular and other aging-related diseases. We replicated these results in an independent data set. The associations of these biomarker signatures with physical and cognitive functions, and risk for morbidity and mortality support the conclusion that they capture different form of biological aging. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Social Issues / 25.12.2016 Interview with: Sonja Hilbrand MSc Department of Psychology University of Basel Basel, Switzerland. What is the background for this study? Response: Grandparenting is a topic of both great practical and theoretical interest. For instance, grandparents in industrialized societies invest substantial amounts of time and money in their grandchildren and there are many studies examining the potential benefits for these grandchildren. Other studies have focused on potentially negative effects on grandparental mortality associated with providing custudial care for grandchildren. In addition to previous research we wanted to ask whether there are tangible benefits to the donors (grandparents) of the resources. In other words, is caring a one-way street or not. In our study we examined whether moderate amounts of caregiving were associated with the longevity of older adults. For our analysis we used longitudinal data of over 500 German individuals aged between 70 and 103 years. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Neurological Disorders, Yale / 22.12.2016 Interview with: Ifat Levy, PhD Associate Professor Comparative Med and Neuroscience Yale School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The proportion of older adults in the population is rapidly rising. These older adults need to make many important decisions, including medical and financial ones, and therefore understanding age-related changes in decision making is of high importance. Prior research has shown that older adults tend to be more risk averse than their younger counterparts when making choices between sure gains and lotteries. For example, asked to choose between receiving $5 for sure and playing a lottery with 50% of gaining $12 (but also 50% of gaining nothing), older adults are more likely than young adults to prefer the safe $5. We were interested in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that are involved in these age-related shifts in preferences. An earlier study that we have conducted in young adults provided a clue. In that study, we measured the risk preference of each participant (based on a series of choices they made between safe and risky options), and also used MRI to obtain a 3D image of their brain. Comparing the behavioral and anatomical measures, we found an association between individual risk preferences and the gray-matter volume of a particular brain area, known as “right posterior parietal cortex” (rPPC), which is located at the back of the right side of the brain. Participants with more gray matter in that brain area were, on average, more tolerant of risk (or less risk averse). This suggested a very interesting possibility – that perhaps the increase in risk aversion observed in older adults is linked to the thinning of gray matter which is also observed in elders. In the current study we set out to test this hypothesis, by measuring risk preference and gray matter density in a group of 52 participants between the ages of 18 and 88. We found that, as expected, older participants were more risk averse than younger ones, and also had less gray matter in their rPPC. We also replicated our previous finding - that less gray matter was associated with higher risk aversion. The critical finding, however, was that the gray matter volume was a better predictor of increased risk aversion than age itself.  Essentially, if both age and the gray matter volume of rPPC were used in the same statistical model, rPPC volume predicted risk preferences, while age did not. Moreover, the predictive power was specific to the rPPC – when we added the total gray matter volume to the model, it did not show such predictive power. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews / 16.12.2016 Interview with: Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte PhD Professor, Roger Guillemin Chair Salk Institute of Biological Science's Gene Expression Laboratory What is the background for this study? Response: Previous studies from different laboratories including ours demonstrated that cellular reprogramming to pluripotency has the capacity to rejuvenate old cells in culture (in a dish) to a younger state. In 2011, we published a study in Nature demonstrating that cellular reprogramming could rejuvenate cells from patients suffering from Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), a premature aging syndrome. The current study started after this publication back in 2012 and the two major questions that we had were: -Could partial, but not complete, cellular reprogramming rejuvenate cells? -Could partial reprogramming rejuvenated cells in a living organism improving its health and lifespan? (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research / 16.12.2016 Interview with: Jerry W. Shay PhD Professor Department of Cell Biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center What did you find? Response: Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes and they gradually shortened with every cell division. There have been multiple studies proposing that shortened telomeres correlate with human aging. Most cancers overcome the shortening of telomeres and aging by activating the enzyme, telomerase. Surprisingly, the human telomerase gene (hTERT) is very close to the telomere on chromosome 5p. During human development telomerase is active until about 18 weeks of gestation. It has been a mystery until this present work of what actually causes telomerase to become silenced. We found in this current work that when telomeres are long during development the telomere loops over and helps to silence the telomerase gene. However, as we age and telomeres get progressively shorter, then telomerase becomes permissive for activation and possibly initiation of cancer. This study in part explain why most cancers are in the 65 and older segment of the population. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Macular Degeneration, Ophthalmology / 08.12.2016 Interview with: dr-anneke-i-den-hollanderAnneke I. den Hollander, PhD Department of Ophthalmology and Department of Human Genetics Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, the Netherland What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Age-related macular degeneration is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Rare genetic variants in the complement system have been described in AMD, but their effect remains largely unexplored. In this study we aimed to determine the effect of rare genetic variants in the complement system on complement levels and activity in serum. What are the main findings? Response: Carriers of CFI variants showed decreased FI levels, carriers of C9 Pro167Ser had increased C9 levels, while C3 and FH levels were not altered. Carriers of CFH and CFI variants had a reduced ability to degrade C3b, which for CFI was linked to reduced serum FI levels. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Global Health, JAMA / 06.12.2016 Interview with: Christina Fitzmaurice, MD, MPH Assistant Professor Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation University of Washington Seattle, WA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide behind cardiovascular diseases. We found that cancer cases increased by 33% from 13.1 million cases in 2005 to 17.5 million in 2015. The largest driver behind this increase was an aging population, followed by a growing population worldwide. The smallest factor contributing to this increase was a rise in cancer incidence rates. Because of increasing life expectancy and better control of communicable diseases cancer will remain a major burden in the foreseeable future. Adjusting and building health systems that can appropriately deal with this challenge is only possible with good data on the burden of cancer. In our study we estimate the number of cancer cases, and cancer deaths over time for 32 cancers in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. We also estimate how many years of life were lost due to cancer as well as disability adjusted life years and a summary measure that combines these two into disability adjusted life years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Geriatrics, Infections / 15.11.2016 Interview with: John P. Haran, MD Assistant Professor Department of Emergency Medicine University of Massachusetts Medical School UMass Memorial Medical Group Worcester, MA What is the background for this study? Response: In 2014, the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) updated their guidelines for the management of skin and soft tissue infection in response to high MRSA infection rates as well as high treatment failure rates for skin and soft tissue infections. Greater than 1 in 5 patients treated for a skin abscess will fail initial treatment. Historically antibiotics have been shown to be unnecessary in the treatment of uncomplicated purulent infections. This notion has been recently challenges when authors published a randomized control trial using trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazone in the NEJM that demonstrated a minimal increase in cure rates for outpatient treatment of uncomplicated skin purulent skin infections. In this study they did not follow IDSA-guidelines nor model or stratify their analysis. It is possible their findings may be due to at-risk patient groups that did not receive antibiotics. Many widely used clinical decision rules incorporate age into their decision algorithms, however the IDSA did not do this with their recent guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Medical Imaging, MRI, Weight Research / 08.11.2016 Interview with: Fatemeh Mokhtari Medical Imaging PhD Student VT-WFU SBES What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The objective of this study was to use baseline anatomical brain MRI scans to prospectively predict weight loss success following an intensive lifestyle intervention. In the study, 52 participants, age 60 to 79, were recruited from the Cooperative Lifestyle Interventions Programs II (CLIP-II) project. The participants were overweight or obese (BMI greater than 28 and less than 42) and had a history of either cardiovascular disease or metabolic syndrome. All participants had a baseline MRI scan, and then were randomized to one of three groups – diet only, diet plus aerobic exercise training or diet plus resistance exercise training. The goal of the 18-month diet and exercise program was a weight loss of 7 to 10 percent of body mass. Basic brain structure information garnered from the MRIs was classified using a support vector machine, a type of computerized predictive algorithm. Specifically, we trained a computational predictive model which mapped each subject’s brain scan to weight loss performance. Predictions were based on baseline brain gray and white matter volume from the participants’ MRIs and compared to the study participants’ actual weight loss after the 18 months. The accuracy of the model was then tested, and our prediction algorithms were 78% accurate in predicting successful weight loss. Brain gray matter volume provided higher prediction accuracy compared with white matter and the combination of the two outperformed either one alone. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Dermatology / 05.10.2016 Interview with: Simone Ribero, M.D., Ph.D. University of Turin Department of Medical Sciences Turin. Italy & King’s College London Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology St Thomas’ campus London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For many years dermatologists have identified that the skin of acne sufferers appears to age more slowly than in those who have not experienced any acne in their lifetime. We have demonstrated in our paper that there is an association between acne and longer telomere length that means that acne patients , with the same anagraphic age , have a younger chronological age. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Cost of Health Care, Frailty / 23.09.2016 Interview with: Gwen Bergen, PhD Division of Unintentional Injury National Center for Injury Prevention and Control CDC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Older adult falls are the leading cause of injury death and disability for adults aged 65 years and older (older adults). In this study, we analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. Our study found that, in 2014, older Americans reported 29 million falls. Almost a quarter of these or 7 million falls required medical treatment or restricted activity for at least one day. Women reported a higher percentage of falls (30%) compared with men (27%). Whites and American Indian/Alaskan Natives (AI/AN) were more likely to fall compared with Blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders; and AI/AN were more likely to report a fall injury compared with all other racial/ethnic groups. The percentage of older adults who reported a fall varied by state, ranging from 21% in Hawaii to 34% in Arkansas. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Genetic Research / 23.09.2016

Dr-Bastiaan-Heijmans.jpg Interview with: Dr. Bastiaan Heijmans Leiden University Medical Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Epigenetic change is a hallmark of ageing but its link to ageing mechanisms in humans remains poorly understood. While DNA methylation at many CpG sites closely tracks chronological age, DNA methylation changes relevant to biological age are expected to gradually dissociate from chronological age, mirroring the increased heterogeneity in health status at older ages. In a large-scale analysis of the methylome of over 3000 individuals, we discovered and validated 6000 sites in the genome that became more variable in their DNA methylation level with age. These sites frequently co-localized with repressed regions that are characterized by polycomb repression. While sites accumulating variability with age were commonly associated with the expression of (neuro)developmental genes in cis, they were linked to transcriptional activity of genes in trans that have a key role in well-established ageing pathways such as intracellular metabolism, apoptosis, and DNA damage response. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 17.08.2016 Interview with: Dr Janice Atkins Research Fellow Epidemiology and Public Health University of Exeter Medical School RD&E Hospital Wonford Barrack Road, Exeter What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have previously shown that having longer-lived parents increases your likelihood of living longer, and family history of heart attacks is already used by physicians to identify patients at increased risk of disease. However, it has been unclear how the health advantages of having longer lived parents is transferred to their middle-aged offspring. Our study of nearly 200,000 UK volunteers aged 55-73 at baseline, and followed for 8 years using health records data, found that having longer-lived parents reduced the risk of morbidity and mortality in the participants. We found that for each parent that lived beyond 70 years of age the participants had 20% less chance of dying from heart disease. To illustrate this, in a group of 1,000 people whose father’s died at 70 and followed for 10 years, on average 50 would die from heart disease. When compared to a group whose father’s died at 80, on average only 40 would die from heart disease over the same 10-year period. Similar trends were seen in the mother’s. The relationship between parental age at death and survival and health in their offspring is complex, with many factors playing a role. Shared environment and lifestyle choices play a large role, including smoking habits, high alcohol consumption, low physical activity and obesity; but even accounting for these factors parents lifespan was still predictive in their offspring. The biggest genetics effects on lifespan in our studies affected the participant’s blood pressure, their cholesterol levels, their Body Mass Index, and their likelihood to be addicted to tobacco. These are all factors that affect risk of heart disease, so is consistent with the lower rates of heart disease in the offspring. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Neurological Disorders, Weight Research / 06.08.2016 Interview with: Dr. Lisa Ronan, PhD Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge Neuroscience What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A growing body of literature relates common markers of aging to those observed in obesity and supports the hypothesis that obesity may accelerate or advance the onset of brain aging. To investigate this relationship at a population level we analysed the white matter volume of the brain in 473 adult subjects ages 20 - 87 years and contrasted these volumes between subjects who were lean (BMI between 18.5 - 25) and those who were overweight / obese (BMI > 25). Our results suggest that the latter group had significantly smaller white matter volumes when compared to their lean age-matched counterparts. We found that this difference in volume equated to a brain-age increase of 10 years in the overweight / obese group. We found no evidence that obesity impacted on cognitive ability. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Genetic Research, Menopause, UCLA / 28.07.2016 Interview with: Morgan Elyse Levine, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Human Genetics University of California, Los Angeles What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: From an evolutionary perspective, aging and reproduction are two processes that are linked. For instance, in order to maximize fitness, an individual has to survive and remain healthy enough to: 1) reproduce and 2) insure offspring survive to reproductive age. Thus, the rate of aging is tied to a species’ timing of reproductive senescence and necessary length of parental involvement. There is also evidence that among humans, women with longer reproductive stages (later age at menopause, ability to conceive at older ages) are more likely to live to age 100, which we hypothesize is because they age slower. Using an epigenetic biomarker believed to capture biological aging (previously developed by the Principle Investigator of this study, Steve Horvath), we tested whether age at menopause, surgical menopause, and use of menopausal hormone therapies were associated with a woman’s aging rate. We found that the blood of women who experienced menopause at earlier ages (especially those who underwent surgical menopause) was “older” than expected, suggesting they were aging faster on a biological level than women who experienced menopause at later ages. We also found that buccal epithelium samples (cells that line the inside of the cheek) were epigenetically younger than expected (signifying slower aging) for post-menopausal women who had taken menopausal hormone therapy, compared to post-menopausal women who had never taken any form of menopausal hormone therapy. Finally, we had a number of results that suggested that the previously mentioned findings were a result of the process of menopause directly speeding up the aging process—rather than the alternative explanation, which would have been that women who aged faster experience menopause earlier. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews / 15.07.2016 Interview with: Dr. Martin Piskacek Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics Department of Pathological Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: From genome-wide expression analyses, the B lymphocytes avoid the aging until 60 years of age. We did not found any gene expression differences between young (30-45 years) and early aged healthy donors (50-60 years). Our results demonstrate the potential of hematopoietic stem cells to generate uncompromised B lymphocytes in early elderly. These are very encouraging findings for general health, because the immunity maintenance does not seem to need artificial intervention to keep B lymphocytes uncompromised in the early elderly. (more…)
Author Interviews / 07.07.2016 Interview with: Sofiya Milman, MD, MS Assistant Professor of Medicine Divisions of Endocrinology and Geriatrics Albert Einstein College of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Aging is a major risk factor for most chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke and osteoporosis. However, many very long-lived individuals delay the onset or never develop age-related diseases. This study compared groups of individuals with exceptional longevity (age ≥95 years) of different genetic and ethnic backgrounds to younger referent groups without familial longevity (age 49-93 years). Long-lived individuals from different groups similarly delayed the age of onset of cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, and stroke. For example, cancer onset was delayed by 30 years and cardiovascular disease by 24 years. The risk of developing any age-related disease was on average 80% lower in individuals with exceptional longevity compared to referents. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Dermatology / 28.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Ava Shamban MD Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology UCLA-Geffen School of Medicine Editor’s note: Dr. Ava Shamban, a dermatologist frequently featured on CBS’ The Doctors as the skin maven on ABC’s Extreme Makeover discusses the recent announcement of the 20th Global Anniversary of Restylane. Would you briefly explain what Restylane® is? What are the main indications for the Restylane® portfolio of products? Response: Restylane is a non-animal, stabilized hyaluronic acid (NASHA), a unique patented HA stabilization technology which contains pure hyaluronic. The Restylane family of products can be used to design individualized treatments with natural-looking results and long-lasting effects. With 190 scientific publications and 150 clinical studies, and more than 3,000 patients in clinical studies, the Restylane family of products are safe and effective products that have been FDA approved based on extensive clinical data. Restylane® is one of the world’s most studied wrinkle fillers and has been used in more than 65 countries worldwide in over 28 million treatments. The main indications for the Restylane portfolio products is to improve the overall appearance of the aging face. Whether you’re young or old, whether you have a fine line or wrinkle or a deeper fold there is a product in this portfolio that can improve the appearance of your face and reverse signs of aging. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Gender Differences / 16.06.2016 Interview with: Kathleen Fischer, PhD Department of Biology UAB | University of Alabama Birmingham Birmingham, AL What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Fischer: Aging is by far the greatest risk factor for most of the chronic, non-communicable diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes). By discovering the basic mechanisms responsible for aging we can find ways to extend healthy and productive life and reduce the burdens of chronic disease and disability experienced by individuals and society. Sex differences in longevity can provide novel insights into the basic biology of aging; however this aspect of aging has been largely ignored. Demographic data show that women outlive men in every society during every historical period and in every geographic area. In spite of this robust survival advantage, women suffer far greater morbidity late in life—a phenomenon described as the morbidity-mortality paradox. It is not clear whether this is a general mammalian pattern or something unique to humans. Research on sex differences in aging and age-related diseases in humans and a range of species will be crucial if we are going to identify the basic mechanisms responsible for the patterns we observe. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Geriatrics, Lymphoma, NYU, Pharmacology / 07.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Catherine S. M. Diefenbach MD Assistant Professor of Medicine NYU Cancer Center New York, NY 10016 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Diefenbach: It is well known that age is important prognostic factor in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Multiple studies have illustrated that elderly lymphoma patients have inferior survival outcomes as compared to their younger counterpart. While the tumor biology is often different in these two groups, and may play a role in this discordancy, elderly patients are often frail or have multiple medical comorbidities. These include geriatric syndromes, such as: cognitive impairment, falls, polypharmacy, and potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use. All of these may contribute to poor outcomes for elderly patients. In addition, elderly patients are often under-treated for their aggressive lymphoma out of concern for toxicity or side effects, even though the data clearly demonstrates that elderly patients can still benefit from curative intent chemotherapy. (more…)