Biomarkers of Aging

Measuring Biological Age

Posted on 28 December 2019

‘Measuring Biological Aging in Human: The Quest’ is a review inspired by two pillars of the aging science literature; the hallmarks of aging and the pillars of aging. As well as looking at the most recent research in and around the gerontology community, this review focuses on translating the fundamental knowledge of the biological mechanisms of aging with into a clinical aspect. 

Current research focuses on measuring the pace of aging to identify individuals who are “aging faster” to test and develop interventions that could prevent or delay the progression of multimorbidity and disability with aging. Understanding how the underlying biological mechanisms of aging connect to and impact longitudinal changes in health trajectories offers a unique opportunity to identify resilience mechanisms, their dynamic changes, and their impact on stress responses. Harnessing how to evoke and control resilience mechanisms in individuals with successful aging could lead to writing a new chapter in human medicine.

Luigi Ferrucci, Marta Gonzalez-Freire, et al.

Normal aging (a) and different pathways to accelerated aging (b and c). A. Robust resilience at a young age fully compensates damage. Over time, damage accumulates that is not fully compensated by resilience. Toward the end of life, resiliency is overwhelmed, and new stresses cause fast, unopposed damage accumulation that leads to frailty and eventually to death. Accelerated aging may occur either because of faster rates of damage accumulation (b) or because of rapid shrinking and eventual collapse of resilience (c). Note that even in the state of robustness, damage can be already abnormally high (b) and resilience already abnormally low (c)

References

  1. Luigi Ferrucci, Marta Gonzalez-Freire et al. Measuring biological aging in humans: A quest. Aging Cell, 2019. DOI: 10.1111/acel.13080
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