Implicit skill learning underlies obtaining not only motor, but also cognitive and social skills through the life of an individual. Yet, the ontogenetic changes in humans' implicit learning abilities have not yet been characterized, and, thus, their role in acquiring new knowledge efficiently during development is unknown. We investigated such learning across the lifespan, between 4 and 85 years of age with an implicit probabilistic sequence learning task, and we found that the difference in implicitly learning high- vs.
mTOR signalling is implicated in the development of disease and in lifespan extension in model organisms. This pathway has been associated with human diseases such as diabetes and cancer, but has not been investigated for its impact on longevity per se. Here, we investigated whether transcriptional variation within the mTOR pathway is associated with human longevity using whole-blood samples from the Leiden Longevity Study. This is a unique cohort of Dutch families with extended survival across generations, decreased morbidity and beneficial metabolic profiles in middle-age.
This article summarizes recent findings in a case study of exceptional longevity. CM, a resident of San Rafael, California, was 114 years old in August 1996. He is the first properly verified case of a 114-year-old man in human history (although a few women have been known to live longer). Our investigation of CM continues as we attempt to gather additional information about his life, family history, and current condition. Here, we consider only two aspects of this case: its authenticity and its significance in the history of human longevity.
Born in Arles on February 21st 1875, Madame J. C. was the oldest registered human being. She died on August 4th 1997 at the age of 122 years, the record for longevity probably for a long moment. Based on this unique case and a review of the literature, the authors describe the mechanical, physiological and clinical aspects of normal cardiac ageing. The diseases of the elderly which accelerate the process of physiological ageing are then reviewed.
Aging is a universal phenomenon that affects nearly all animal species. It can be considered as the product of an interaction between genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors, which in turn influence longevity that varies between and within species. Several studies have been focused in healthy centenarians, because these exceptional individuals represent the best example of successful aging.
Four families highly clustered for extreme longevity are described here, representing the first report of clustering for this phenotype. Families such as these may prove to be helpful in the further understanding of the genetic contribution to achieving exceptional longevity.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Substantial evidence supports the familial aggregation of exceptional longevity. The existence of rare families demonstrating clustering for this phenotype suggests that a genetic etiology may be an important component. Previous attempts at localizing loci predisposing for exceptional longevity have been limited to association studies of candidate gene polymorphisms. In this study, a genome-wide scan for such predisposing loci was conducted by using 308 individuals belonging to 137 sibships demonstrating exceptional longevity.
To live beyond the octogenarian years, population and molecular genetic studies of centenarian sibships indicate that genetic factors play an increasingly important role as the limit of life span is approached. These factors are likely to influence basic mechanisms of aging that in turn broadly influence susceptibility to age-related illnesses. Lacking genetic variations that predispose to disease as well as having variations that confer disease resistance (longevity enabling genes) are probably both important to achieving exceptional old age.
There is a substantial distinction to be made between the genetics of aging and the genetics of exceptional longevity. Twin studies suggest that the average set of genetic variations facilitates the average human's ability to live well into their octogenarian years. Other studies indicate that taking full advantage of this average set results in spending the majority of those years in good health. However, many people counteract such genetic endowment with poor health habits, resulting in a substantially lower average life expectancy and relatively more time spent in poor health.