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Medicineworld.org: Living longer and happier

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Living longer and happier




A newly released study from the University of Missouri may shed light on how to increase the level and quality of activity in the elderly. In the study, published in this week's edition of Public Library of Science ONE, MU scientists observed that gene treatment with a proven "longevity" gene energized mice during exercise, and might be applicable to humans in the future.



Living longer and happier

"Aging is one of the biggest challenges to a modern society. A pressing issue in the elderly is the loss of activity. What one really wants is not a simple lifespan prolongation but rather a health span increase," said Dongsheng Duan, an associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology. "After gene treatment with a 'longevity' gene, we studied how well the mice performed on treadmill exercises. We observed that the gene treatment worked well and the mice functioned better after the therapy".

Earlier studies have observed that mice would live longer when their genome was altered to carry a gene known as mitochondria-targeted catalase gene, or MCAT. However, such approaches would not be applicable to human. Duan and Dejia Li, a post-doctoral researcher working with Duan, took a different approach and placed the MCAT gene inside a non-malignant virus and injected the virus into the mice.

Once injected, Duan and Li tested the mice and observed that they could run farther, faster and longer than mice of the same age and sex. Duan attributes this performance enhancement to the MCAT and believes the gene is responsible for removing toxic substances, known as free radicals, from the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. By using this specific gene treatment vector, the virus, to introduce the longevity gene, Duan and Li opened the possibility of human therapy.

"Our results suggest similar treatment may one day improve the life quality of the elderly" Duan said. "This could have important implications for a number of diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, heart disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. These patients typically have too a number of toxic free radicals in their cells".


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
A newly released study from the University of Missouri may shed light on how to increase the level and quality of activity in the elderly. In the study, published in this week's edition of Public Library of Science ONE, MU scientists observed that gene treatment with a proven "longevity" gene energized mice during exercise, and might be applicable to humans in the future.

Medicineworld.org: Living longer and happier

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