Reaching out across the Web .. ...分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/zuojun Zuojun Yu, physical oceanographer, freelance English editor

博文

你想知道你衰老的速度吗?(双语)

已有 669 次阅读 2024-1-30 03:41 |个人分类:Health & Health-Care System|系统分类:科普集锦

译者:我用GT翻译,然后快读一遍(纠正明显的错)。没有时间追求“信、达、雅”。

 

科学家可以判断你衰老的速度有多快。 现在的问题是:如何放慢你衰老的速度

 

我曾经忌讳衰老这个话题。 对于不可避免的事情我们能做些什么吗?

但最近我一直在跟踪新一波的长寿研究。这种研究使今天(现在)成为一个令人兴奋的时代,因为我们(所有人)都在一天天“走向老龄”。

事实证明,我们的衰老速度各不相同。 超级老人可能拥有伟大的基因;但研究表明,我们的习惯和日常生活——从我们吃什么、我们如何“动”到我们与谁共度时光——对于健康老龄化来说非常重要。

下一个前沿领域是针对衰老的基本生物学,并提出新的干预措施来减缓衰老。

许多科学家乐观地认为我们正处于突破的风口浪尖。 不仅可以帮助我们活得更长,更重要的是,可以延长我们健康的寿命。

这是西北大学范伯格医学院人类长寿实验室研究人员的目标。 他们正在招募研究参与者,以便测试哪些干预措施可以减缓衰老速度。 为此,我决定卷起袖子投身科学事业。

 

欢迎来到长寿实验室

当我到达长寿实验室时,第一步是抽血。 波托茨纳克长寿研究所位于西北纪念医院光线充足的 21 楼,俯瞰密歇根湖。 感觉更像是一个水疗中心,而不是医生的办公室。 我没有预料到科学家们可以从一系列测试中收集到大量的数据和分析结果。

在四个小时的时间里,他们进行了两打以上的评估。我起初感觉有点像一年一度的体检。 他们检查了我的血压、体重、血糖、和胆固醇。

但随后的测试变得更加有趣。 在一个小检查室内,一名医疗助理打开了 BodPod 的门;这是一个看起来像潜水器的机器。 它评估了我的身体成分,确定脂肪质量与瘦肉质量(包括肌肉)的比率。 力量是健康衰老的关键标志,可以帮助我们抵御虚弱和防止跌倒。

接下来,我被要求用嗅觉识别一系列不同的气味——从皮革到巧克力——以测试我的嗅觉功能。 嗅觉丧失可能是疾病和认知能力下降的早期征兆。 他们扫描了我的视网膜并拍摄了我眼睛内部的数字图像,这也可以帮助检测疾病。 我参加了记忆和认知功能测试,称为 MOCA。 值得庆幸的是,我的一切都很健康。

 

然后,他们对我进行了一系列心血管健康测试。 他们测量了我的内皮功能;这种功能使血液在体内顺畅流动。 他们检查了我的心率变异性和脉搏波速度;这些是动脉僵硬的指标。 他们在我的胸部放置了电极以进行心电图检查。

检查中途,我感到有点紧张;不停地胡思乱想。

在他们进行的所有测试中,最有趣的是 GrimAge 测试。 该测试可预测生物年龄。 它测量你的 DNA 年龄是否比你的实际年龄(称为实际年龄)年轻或年长。 让你想起死神(the Grim Reaper)的形象吗? 是的,就是这个想法:该测试可以估计你衰老的速度有多快或多慢。

为了解决这个问题,研究人员使用了一种基于 DNA 甲基化的技术,这是对 DNA 修饰的一种测量。 基本上,随着年龄的增长,称为甲基的化合物会附着在我们的一些DNA 分子上,从而可以打开或关闭基因。 研究人员表明,某些位置的甲基化 DNA 比例越高,一个人的生物年龄就越快。 已发表的研究表明,这是预测寿命和健康寿命的可靠方法。

 

你能改变你的生理年龄吗?

没有人想发现自己比同龄人衰老得更快,对吧? 但这正是令人兴奋的:我们的生理年龄可能是可塑的。 我们希望通过改变生活方式来减缓衰老速度。 接下来,可能会有抗衰老药物或其他干预措施。

对于研究人员来说,GrimAge 测试不仅仅是一种估计 DNA 年龄的方法。 它是研究干预措施是否可以改变它的工具。

长寿研究所所长道格拉斯·沃恩博士表示:“这一切都带来了一丝乐观情绪——我们有可能减缓衰老并延长人们的健康寿命。” 健康寿命是指我们健康生活的年数。 “它可以在实验模型中非常迅速地改变,也可能在人类身上,”他说。

 

例如,吸烟对甲基化有很强的影响。 研究人员 Steven Horvath 解释说:“当你吸烟时,数以万计的位置会发生甲基化。”他开发了表观遗传时钟,作为 GrimAge 测试的一部分。 肥胖者在身体的某些部位也表现出较高的甲基化。 “相反,如果你吃蔬菜,如果你比较瘦,如果你锻炼,就会减缓甲基化年龄,”他解释道。

 

当然,现在人们早已知道吸烟和饮食不当对身体有害。 但研究人员现在可以测试具体的干预措施,看看是否有可能取得进展。

当沃恩在印第安纳州的一个阿米什社区发现了一种独特的基因变异时,他对衰老产生了浓厚的兴趣。 与没有这种变异的人相比,携带这种变异的人可以免受糖尿病的侵害,并且心血管系统也更健康。 在实验室中,当沃恩对小鼠进行基因改造,使其只含有 50% 水平的与这种突变相关的蛋白质时,它们的寿命增加了近四倍。 “这是一个顿悟的时刻,”他说。

他告诉他目前的医学院学生,在他们的职业生涯中,他们将采取干预措施来减缓患者的生物衰老。

“我不知道那到底是什么。它可能是一种药物。它可能是一种生活方式干预,据我所知,它可能是基因编辑,”沃恩说。 “但我们会采取一些方法来减缓这一过程,让人们拥有更长的健康寿命。”

 

使得长寿能够普及

与居住在几英里之外的人们相比,居住在人类长寿实验室所在的芝加哥高档社区的人们可以期望活得更长寿、更健康。 沃恩希望帮助缩小这一差距。

他说:“我担心芝加哥南部那些可怜的人,他们的预期寿命只有 55 岁,而我们所在的社区的预期寿命是 92 岁。” 这是30多年的惊人差异!(你可以在https://www.rwjf.org/en/insights/our-research/interactives/whereyouliveaffectshowlongyoulive.html查看美国邮政编码地区的预期寿命。)

 

造成这种预期寿命差距的因素有很多,包括贫困、住房、压力、和犯罪;这些因素都会影响健康寿命。

沃恩和他的合作者正在招募来自不同年龄、种族、社区和社会经济地位的人,看看有什么方法可以减缓每个人的生物衰老。

“有很多人在衰老方面受到了不公正的对待,”沃恩说。 他们的目标是找到负担得起的、基于证据的干预措施,使每个人受益,无论社会经济地位如何。

例如,人们对研究压力感兴趣,沃恩说这可能是“芝加哥不同社区预期寿命差异的部分原因”。 为了研究这一点,他可以测量人们的基线生物年龄,让他们尝试减压计划;然后再次测试,看看他们的结果是否发生变化。

沃恩还对研究慢性艾滋病毒感染者感兴趣,他们的衰老速度往往会加快。 芝加哥一个有着共同兴趣的家庭提供的一份慈善捐赠帮助成立了该研究所。 沃恩的团队正在考虑采取一系列干预措施,以测试是否可以减缓这一人群的衰老速度。

“这可能是负重训练,可能是间歇性禁食,可能是饮食控制,也可能是现在可用的具有抗衰老作用的药物,”沃恩解释说,他引用了糖尿病药物二甲双胍。

 

长寿和健康跨度研究吸引了大量的资金和关注,例如 Hevolution 基金会提供赠款和早期投资,Altos Labs 是一家由 Rick Klausner 博士创立的生物技术公司,该公司正在研究重新编程或 使细胞恢复活力。

数十个团体已表示有意参加价值 1.01 亿美元的 X-PRIZE 全球竞赛,该竞赛的重点是支持健康长寿的治疗方法——从新药或补充剂、到设备,再到将旧药改造成新用途。

“团队必须来到起跑线,我们将建立框架来证明他们的治疗效果,”XPRIZE 的杰米·贾斯蒂斯 (Jamie Justice) 说,他也是维克森林大学医学院的研究员。

 

接受衰老科学

幸运的是,我的 GrimAge 分数比我的实际年龄要年轻,尽管我确实有一些别的问题。 我了解到我的身体成分并不理想。 事实证明,我需要增加更多的瘦肌肉质量,随着年龄的增长,这很常见——尤其是对于女性而言。

对于肌肉质量,如果你不使用它,你就会失去它。 30~35岁以后,肌肉开始慢慢衰退。 65 岁左右之后,这种损失会加速。 因此,开始建立储备永远不会太早。 我今年的目标是通过阻力训练和最佳饮食来增强肌肉。 还有,我需要减轻压力。

我在长寿研究中的经验激励我开始一个新项目:如何随着年龄的增长而健康地活着。 我们很快就会有更多关于健康老龄化干预措施的故事。

 

Scientists can tell how fast you're aging. Now, the trick is to slow it down

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2024/01/29/1226911278/thrive-age-longevity-lab-healthy-aging-live-better-longer

I used to flinch at the topic of aging. Is there anything we can do about the inevitable?

But recently I've been digging into a new wave of longevity research that is making it an exciting time to be an aging human, which is all of us.

It turns out, we all age at varying rates. Super-agers may have great genes, but research shows our habits and routines — everything from what we eat and how we move our bodies to who we spend our time with — matter a lot, when it comes to aging well.

Now, the next frontier is to target the basic biology of aging and come up with new interventions to slow it down.

Many scientists are optimistic that we're on the cusp of breakthroughs. Not only to help us live longer, but — more importantly — to extend the number of years we live with good health.

This is the goal of researchers at the Human Longevity Lab at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. They're recruiting study participants so they can test what kinds of interventions may slow the rate of aging. To that end, I decided to roll up my sleeve for science.

Welcome to aging: My visit to the longevity lab

When I arrived, the first step was a quick blood draw. The Potocsnak Longevity Institute is housed on the light-filled 21st floor of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, overlooking Lake Michigan. It felt more like a spa than a doctor's office. I didn't anticipate the vast range of data and insights scientists could glean from a battery of tests.

Over a four-hour period, they performed more than two dozen assessments. At first it felt a bit like an annual physical. They checked my blood pressure, weight, glucose and cholesterol.

But then, the tests got a lot more interesting. Inside a small exam room, a medical assistant opened the hinge of a BodPod, a capsule that looks like a submersible. The machine assessed my body composition, determining the ratio of fatty mass to lean mass, which includes muscle. Strength is a key marker of healthy aging, helping us fend off frailty and falls.

Next, I was asked to sniff and identify a range of distinct smells — from leather to chocolate — to test olfactory function. The loss of smell can be an early sign of disease and cognitive decline. They scanned my retina and took digital images of the inside of my eyes, which can also help detect disease. And I took a memory and cognitive function test, called MOCA. Thankfully, all was healthy.

 

Then I went through a slew of cardiovascular health tests. They measured my endothelial function, which keeps blood flowing smoothly through the body. They looked at my heart rate variability and pulse-wave velocity, which is an indicator of stiffness of the arteries. I had electrodes placed onto my chest for an electrocardiogram.

Midway through I was feeling a bit nervous, and my mind raced to what ifs. 

Of all the tests they performed, the most intriguing is the GrimAge test. This test predicts biological age. It's gauging whether your DNA age is younger, or older, than your actual age, known as chronological age. Conjure images of the Grim Reaper? Yep, that's the idea: The test can estimate how quickly, or slowly, you're aging.

To figure this out, researchers use a technique based on DNA methylation,which is a measure of modifications in our DNA. Basically, as we age, compounds called methyl groups attach to some of our DNA molecules, which can turn genes on or off. Researchers have shown that the higher the proportion of methylated DNA in certain locations, the more accelerated a person's biological age. Published research suggests this is a reliable way to predict life span and health span.

Can you change your biological age?

No one wants to find out they're aging faster than their peers, right? But here's the exciting part. Our biological age may be malleable. The hope is that we can slow down our rate of aging — by making changes to lifestyle. Down the line, there may be anti-aging pills or other interventions.

For researchers, the GrimAge test isn't just a way to estimate DNA age. It's a tool to study whether interventions can alter it.

"That's the big ray of optimism that comes through all of this — the possibility that we can slow down aging and extend the health span of people," says Dr. Douglas Vaughan, director of the Longevity Institute. Health span is the number of years we live with good health. "It can be changed very rapidly in experimental models and probably in people, too," he says.

 

For example, smoking has a very strong effect on methylation. "Tens of thousands of locations gain methylation when you smoke," explains researcher Steven Horvath, who developed the epigenetic clock used as part of the GrimAge test. People with obesity also exhibit higher methylation at certain locations. "Conversely, if you eat vegetables, if you are lean, if you exercise, that slows methylation age," he explains.

 

Now, of course, it's long been known that smoking and eating poorly are bad for you. But researchers can now test specific interventions to see if it's possible to move the needle.

Vaughan's deep interest in aging took off when he identified a distinct genetic variant in an Amish community in Indiana. People who have the variant are protected from diabetes and have healthier cardiovascular systems compared to people who don't. In the laboratory, when Vaughan engineered mice to have only a 50% level of a protein associated with this mutation, their life spans increased by nearly fourfold. "This was a eureka moment," he says.

He tells his current medical students that in their careers they will prescribe interventions to slow down biological aging in their patients.

"I don't know exactly what that's going to be. It might be a drug. It might be a lifestyle intervention, for all I know it might be gene editing," Vaughan says. "But there are going to be ways that we are going to slow down this process and give people a longer health span."

Democratizing aging

People who live in the upscale Chicago neighborhood where the Human Longevity Lab is located can expect to live a much longer, healthier life compared to people who live just a few miles away. Vaughan wants to help close this gap.

"I'm worried about the poor soul in south Chicago who has a life expectancy of 55, compared to 92 in the neighborhood where we're standing right now," he says. A stunning difference of more than 30 years. (You can check out life expectancy in your ZIP code here.)

 

A lot of factors play into this life expectancy gap including poverty, housing, stress and crime, which can all work against health span.

Vaughan and his collaborators are enrolling people from a wide range of ages, ethnic groups, neighborhoods and socioeconomic status to see what works to slow biological aging for everybody.

"There are lots of people who've been dealt a bad hand with regard to aging," Vaughan says. Their goal is to find affordable, evidence-based interventions that can benefit everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status.

For example, there's interest in studying stress, which Vaughan says could be "part of the reason for the discrepancy in the life expectancy in different neighborhoods of Chicago." To study this, he could measure people's biological age at baseline, have them try a stress-reduction program, and test again to see if their results changed.

Vaughan is also interested in studying people with chronic HIV, who tend to age at an accelerated rate. A charitable gift from a Chicago family with a shared interest helped launch the institute. Vaughan's team is considering a range of interventions to test whether they can slow down aging in this population.

"It might be weight training, it might be intermittent fasting, it might be dietary manipulations, it might be drugs that are available now that might have anti-aging effects," Vaughan explains, citing the diabetes drug metformin.

 

Longevity and health span research is attracting lots of funding and attention, from places like the Hevolution Foundation, which provides grants and early stage investments, and Altos Labs, a biotechnology company, founded by Dr. Rick Klausner, which is investigating ways to reprogram or rejuvenate cells.

Dozens of groups have signaled their intent to compete in the $101 million X-PRIZE global competition focused on treatments that support healthy longevity — everything from new drugs or supplements, to devices, to repurposing old drugs for new uses.

"Teams have to come to the starting line and we're going to set up the frameworks by which they prove their therapeutic works," says XPRIZE's Jamie Justice, who is also a researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Embracing aging science

Fortunately, my GrimAge score came back younger than my actual age, though I did get some surprises. I learned that my body composition isn't optimal. Turns out, I need to build more lean muscle mass, which is pretty common as we age — especially for women.

With muscle mass, if you don't use it, you lose it. After the age of 30 to 35, muscle starts to slowly decline. And after age 65 or so, this loss accelerates. So it's never too soon to start building a reserve. My goal for this year is to build muscle through resistance training and an optimal diet. And also, to reduce stress.

 

My experience in the longevity study has motivated me to get started on a new project: How To Thrive As You Age. We'll have more stories on healthy aging interventions coming soon.



https://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-306792-1419836.html

上一篇:生酮饮食和精神疾病治疗效果(双语)
下一篇:间歇性禁食的好处(双语)
收藏 IP: 66.91.44.*| 热度|

2 尤明庆 郑永军

评论 (0 个评论)

数据加载中...
扫一扫,分享此博文

Archiver|手机版|科学网 ( 京ICP备07017567号-12 )

GMT+8, 2024-4-16 02:12

Powered by ScienceNet.cn

Copyright © 2007- 中国科学报社

返回顶部