Genetics in the News

How Genes Reveal your "Biological Age"

Summary

In a recent study in 2013 written in the Journal Genome Biology, researches discovered that taking a look at a persons genes may reveal their biological age, as oppose to their chronological age, to help determine their health and likelihood of age related illness such as Alzheimer and dementia. They study included participants that were 65 years of age and using the "signature" of 150 genes they were able to determine each persons biological age and they found that individuals with a higher "gene score" were considered more healthy(Miller, 2013).

Using someone’s chronological age does not help determine their health status. Environment and lifestyle choices factor in along with genes meaning that not everyone at the chronological age of 50 have the same biological age, or level of health. The study was done by using RNA-profiling, to measure and compare gene expression of 150 genes and their relation to developing someone’s biological age and how these genes are activated in that person’s blood, brain, and tissues(Timmons, 2013).


The information found in the study provided scientists a better way to help manage diseases related to ageing and those who have a higher risk for the disease to help improve treatments. The study helped scientist produce a formula for healthy aging and found that a lower score was related to cognitive health decline (Arce, 2013).

Importance

These findings are important the medical community, the nursing community specially, because it correlates to the development of disease such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and osteoporosis. If we can help determine someone’s biological age using their genes, we can help determine if they will develop a certain age related illness and take the proper steps of prevention or awareness.

Your chronological age vs. your biological age. Dr. Berger on KTLA Morning News

The future of medicine

These findings will help improve the future of medicine by helping doctors and nurses to better understand and better predict the likelihood of a patient developing age related illnesses. Nurses will play a bigger role in genetics than ever before.

Citations

Jill Arce.(Sep 9, 2013). "Blood Tests can Determine Biological Age". Retrieved from: see link above

Sara G. Miller.(Sep 06, 2013). "How Old Are You Really? Genese Reveal Biological Age" .Retrieved from: see link above

James Timmons.(Sep 7, 2013)."A New Way to Test Your Biologcal Age". Retrieved from: see link above