Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disease which is caused by degeneration of motor neurons in the central nervous system. The incidence of ALS is higher in men than women, but the female advantage disappears with increased age. Here, we report evidence that the female advantage is due to the protective role of estrogen. In an ALS mouse model carrying the human Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (hSOD1) G93A transgene, ovariectomy did not alter the onset age of the disease while reducing the female lifespan by 7 days and making it comparable to that of the male transgenic mice.
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.
This study aimed to continue our characterization of finger strength and multi-finger interactions across the lifespan to include those in their 60s and older. Building on our previous study of children, we examined young and elderly adults during isometric finger flexion and extension tasks. Sixteen young and 16 elderly, gender-matched participants produced maximum force using either a single finger or all four fingers in flexion and extension.
Hormesis, the beneficial effect of a mild stress, has been proposed as a means to prolong the period of healthy ageing as it can increase the average lifespan of a cohort. However, if we want to use hormesis therapeutically it is important that the treatment is beneficial on the individual level and not just on average at the population level. Long lived lines have been shown not to benefit from a, in other lines, hormesis inducing heat treatment in Drosophila melanogaster, D. buzzatii and mice.
Dietary restriction (DR) extends the lifespan of a wide range of species, although the universality of this effect has never been quantitatively examined. Here, we report the first comprehensive comparative meta-analysis of DR across studies and species. Overall, DR significantly increased lifespan, but this effect is modulated by several factors. In general, DR has less effect in extending lifespan in males and also in non-model organisms. Surprisingly, the proportion of protein intake was more important for life extension via DR than the degree of caloric restriction.
High prevalence and low female/male ratio for validated centenarians are observed in Sardinia and these findings appear to be thus far unique to this island. Moreover a specific region on the island is characterized by exceptional male longevity. We calculated the extreme longevity index (ELI), defined as the percentage of persons born in Sardinia between 1880 and 1900, who became centenarians.
The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
The choice of a phenotype is critical for the study of a complex genetically regulated process, such as aging. To date, most of the twin and family studies have focused on broad survival measures, primarily age at death or exceptional longevity. However, on the basis of recent studies of twins and families, biological age has also been shown to have a strong genetic component, with heritability estimates ranging from 27% to 57%.
Official figures show that life expectancy in Costa Rica is longer than in the United States (US), in spite of the fact that per capita health expenditure is only one-tenth that of the US. To check whether this is for real and to explore some of its determinants, 900 Costa Ricans aged 60+ were followed from 1984 to 2001. Follow-up household visits were made, deaths were tracked in the national death registry, and survival status in the voting registry was double-checked. In addition, the survivors were contacted in 2002. Two-thirds of the panel had died by December 2001.
The present study aims at describing the health status of a sample of relatively functional and healthy Greek centenarians and at exploring the potential gender differences in health in this sample. Its objectives are to add to the accumulation of knowledge about the health status of centenarians and therefore to contribute to the exploration of the mechanisms of healthy longevity. The study employs a non-representative community sample of Greek centenarians of both sexes (N=47).
Family studies of exceptional longevity can potentially identify genetic and other factors contributing to long life and healthy aging. Although such studies seek families that are exceptionally long lived, they also need living members who can provide DNA and phenotype information. On the basis of these considerations, the authors developed a metric to rank families for selection into a family study of longevity.