Instead of studying the diseases of old age – Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease and diabetes – individually, we believe that we will intervene in the aging process to postpone the development of many of these diseases, “said author David Walker, associate professor of molecular biology and physiology UCLA, whose publications published last week in the journal Cell Reports.
In experiments on fruit flies, the UCLA biologists have activated only one gene – AMPK, which is their life extended by almost a third, helping them to get rid of “cellular garbage” that causes the disease in old age such as Parkinson’s disease. People have this same gene.
Laboratory UCLA performed a study on a sample of 100,000 fruit flies, which are used because they are genetically mapped, and scientists can easily mutate a single gene within the population, ensuring a completely controlled experiment.
Flies with the gene activated in the intestine lived over 8 weeks instead of the usual 6 and, more importantly, stay healthy longer during its lifetime. Designed with the average age of people of about 78 years, it would be about 101 years of age.
These impressive results were achieved by the activated process called autophagy, which stimulates AMPK.
Autophagy – from the Greek meaning ‘eat itself’ – allowing cells to isolate and discard the old, dysfunctional parts, known as the cell’s garbage, which damages healthy cells. Many diseases are associated with the age of a reduced amount of autophagy, which leads to the accumulation of millions of unhealthy cells in the body.
Although people have the AMPK gene, it is in most people ‘off’.
The researchers also found that the involvement of genes in one part of the body causes the involvement and elsewhere.
“Activation of AMPK in the intestine produced increased levels of autophagy in the brain, or elsewhere,” said Walker.
This means that doctors will in future be able to treat more difficult to reach areas such as the brain by applying therapy to more easily accessible place, such as the stomach.
The intriguing is that although genetic treatment using AMPK seems far away, but there is no cure on the market that stimulate AMPK existing genes that are activated when the cells reach a low level of energy, in the form of a mechanism repairs.
Metformin is a synthesized back in 1922 and widely used to combat diabetes since the late fifties, and today can be bought cheaply. Despite the significant side effects, previous years is often advertised in many studies to be effective against the risk of cancer and heart disease, and some of it is already used as a cure for aging, although you can not rewrite for that purpose.