Longevity gene

Longevity gene There has been news reports during the last 10 years about scientists discovering a 'longevity gene' that not only extends life but also protects the brain from Alzheimer's disease. How important is this news?

There have always individuals who live a long time. In ancient times, Democritus of Abdera was known to have lived for 109 years. In more recent times Jeanne Calment celebrated her 122 birthday before she died in 1997.

There are parts of the world where citizen longevity is said to be common. One of the difficulties for scientific researchers has been a lack of verifiable records for these claims. Official Certificates of birth or baptism for many of the people claiming to be Centenarians or SuperCentenarians (those over age 110) either were never created or they were destroy by war or nature (fire, dampness, insects etc.).

Spyros Theodoridis of Greece, for example, is said 'to be still active at 120 years' but there is difficulty in authenticating his date of birth. His baptismal certificatewould make him to be younger than is claimed but if the Baptismal certificate is to believed he would have had to be only 5 years old in a photo taken of him when he was laboring on a farm!

Brain, memory and longevity.

The December 2006 issue of Neurology published a study claiming that the "gene variant linked to living a very long life--to 90 and beyond--also serves to help very old people think clearly and retain their memories".

The study done by the Institute of Aging Research examined 158 people of Ashkenazim Jewish descent (Eastern European) who were at least 95 years of age. They compared those who possessed the gene variant with those who lacked it and found that those with this 'longevity gene' were "twice as likely to have good brain function into old age based on standard test of cognitive function".

These researchers later studied a group of younger Ashkenazim Jews (age 75 - 85) and found that in this group, those who did not develop dementia later in life were 5 times more likely to have the favorable genotype than those who did develop dementia. So there is some truth to the claim that your genes can affect both your longevity and your brain function at advanced age.

Special Note: If you reread the description of this study it is NOT NECESSARY to have the 'Longevity gene' to live a long time. There were persons in both these study groups who did not have the gene....and yet they lived to an advanced age. You can enjoy great longevity whether or not you have this gene. But having the gene is helpful.

So what other things besides this longevity gene have scientists found affects how long you will live? Take a look at some of the research listed here. Some findings may surprise you. If living a long time is one of your concerns or interests I hope you will check out:

Telemores Longevity gene

Food as a key to a long, vibrant life

Exercise - its place in longevity planning

 Reserveratrol supplement for a long life 

Scientists continue their research. I the articles about this topic in research publications. If you want to know the newest studies show do subscribe to the RSS feed {button on the left side of this page)

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