Researchers here build a signature of aging based on age-related changes in the proteins found in blood samples, and then show that centenarians appear to undergo these changes more slowly than people who die at younger ages. One would expect to see that a population of exceptionally old people achieved a long life by aging more slowly than their peers: aging is, after all, defined as an increase in the risk of mortality over time due to intrinsic causes. The question is how one can measure differences in the pace of aging more efficiently than by waiting for years to observe outcomes in mortality.
The development of measurements of biological age that can be carried out fairly quickly given a blood or tissue sample, such as epigenetic clocks, is an important topic in aging research. A simple, reliable biomarker of aging could greatly accelerate the assessment of potential rejuvenation therapies, allowing researchers to discard less useful paths and focus on those with better outcomes.
Using samples from the New England Centenarian Study (NECS), we sought to characterize the serum proteome of 77 centenarians, 82 centenarians’ offspring, and 65 age-matched controls of the offspring (mean ages: 105, 80,
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