Jews

Publication Title: 
Journal of Ethnopharmacology

The Taylor-Schechter (T-S) collection at Cambridge University Library is the biggest of all Cairo Genizah collections in the world. The importance and the potential of research into the medical aspects of the Genizah documents were clear to researcher since the early 1960s. A few works have been published since, usually focusing on one subject, or even important single manuscripts.

Author(s): 
Lev, Efraim
Amar, Zohar
Publication Title: 
Journal of Ethnopharmacology

The importance of the Genizah for the research of the medieval Mediterranean communities, supplying information on almost every aspect of life, is well known among historian. Less known is that pharmacy was the most popular of all branches of the healing art in the medieval Jewish community of Cairo, according to the Genizah manuscripts. Sources for study of medieval practical drugs are extremely rare since most records naturally vanish over the years, and only some medical books, which contained theoretical pharmacology, have survived to the present day.

Author(s): 
Lev, Efraim
Publication Title: 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Rather than being a passive, haphazard process of wear and tear, lifespan can be modulated actively by components of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor I (IGFI) pathway in laboratory animals. Complete or partial loss-of-function mutations in genes encoding components of the insulin/IGFI pathway result in extension of life span in yeasts, worms, flies, and mice. This remarkable conservation throughout evolution suggests that altered signaling in this pathway may also influence human lifespan.

Author(s): 
Suh, Yousin
Atzmon, Gil
Cho, Mi-Ook
Hwang, David
Liu, Bingrong
Leahy, Daniel J.
Barzilai, Nir
Cohen, Pinchas
Publication Title: 
Aging Cell

Dampening of insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) signaling results in the extension of lifespan in invertebrate as well as murine models. The impact of this evolutionarily conserved pathway on the modulation of human lifespan remains unclear. We previously identified two IGF1R mutations (Ala-37-Thr and Arg-407-His) that are enriched in Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians as compared to younger controls and are associated with the reduced activity of the IGF1 receptor as measured in immortalized lymphocytes.

Author(s): 
Tazearslan, Cagdas
Huang, Jing
Barzilai, Nir
Suh, Yousin
Publication Title: 
JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association

CONTEXT: Individuals with exceptional longevity have a lower incidence and/or significant delay in the onset of age-related disease, and their family members may inherit biological factors that modulate aging processes and disease susceptibility. OBJECTIVE: To identify specific biological and genetic factors that are associated with or reliably define a human longevity phenotype.

Author(s): 
Barzilai, Nir
Atzmon, Gil
Schechter, Clyde
Schaefer, Ernst J.
Cupples, Adrienne L.
Lipton, Richard
Cheng, Suzanne
Shuldiner, Alan R.
Publication Title: 
Neurology

OBJECTIVE: To test whether cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) genotype (VV homozygosity for I405V) is associated with preservation of cognitive function in addition to its association with exceptional longevity. METHODS: We studied Ashkenazi Jews with exceptional longevity (n = 158; age 99.2 +/- 0.3 years) for the associations of CETP VV genotype and lipoprotein phenotype, using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). To confirm the role of CETP in a younger cohort, we studied subjects from the Einstein Aging Study (EAS) for associations between CETP VV and cognitive impairment.

Author(s): 
Barzilai, N.
Atzmon, G.
Derby, C. A.
Bauman, J. M.
Lipton, R. B.
Publication Title: 
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

CONTEXT: The distribution of serum TSH shifts progressively to higher concentrations with age. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to determine whether the population shift in TSH distribution to higher concentrations with aging extends to people of exceptional longevity, namely centenarians, and to assess the relationship between concentrations of TSH and free T(4) (FT4).

Author(s): 
Atzmon, Gil
Barzilai, Nir
Hollowell, Joseph G.
Surks, Martin I.
Gabriely, Ilan
Publication Title: 
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

CONTEXT: Exceptional longevity is associated with raised serum TSH. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine whether offspring of people with exceptional longevity have elevated serum TSH and whether specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TSH-B gene and TSH receptor (TSHR) gene are associated with this phenotype. DESIGN/SETTING/PATIENTS: We measured serum TSH and free T(4) in Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians (n = 232; median age, 97 yr), their offspring (n = 366; median age, 69 yr), and age-matched controls without familial longevity (n = 163; median age, 70 yr).

Author(s): 
Atzmon, Gil
Barzilai, Nir
Surks, Martin I.
Gabriely, Ilan
Publication Title: 
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

OBJECTIVES: To assess lifestyle factors including physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and dietary habits in men and women with exceptional longevity. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: A cohort of community-dwelling Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with exceptional longevity defined as survival and living independently at age 95 and older.

Author(s): 
Rajpathak, Swapnil N.
Liu, Yingheng
Ben-David, Orit
Reddy, Saritha
Atzmon, Gil
Crandall, Jill
Barzilai, Nir
Publication Title: 
Aging

A number of leading theories of aging, namely The Antagonistic Pleiotropy Theory (Williams, 1957), The Disposable Soma Theory (Kirkwood, 1977) and most recently The Reproductive-Cell Cycle Theory (Bowen and Atwood, 2004, 2010) suggest a tradeoff between longevity and reproduction. While there has been an abundance of data linking longevity with reduced fertility in lower life forms, human data have been conflicting. We assessed this tradeoff in a cohort of genetically and socially homogenous Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians (average age ~100 years).

Author(s): 
Tabatabaie, Vafa
Atzmon, Gil
Rajpathak, Swapnil N.
Freeman, Ruth
Barzilai, Nir
Crandall, Jill

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