Center for Healthy Aging and the American National Institute of Health released a new paper which describes the mechanism of aging. They have identified the working of a key molecule taking part in the process. Now scientists can artificially regulate the pace of aging.
Hit the delay button
Though it sounds fantasy, aging can be delayed according to scientists from Center for Healthy Aging and the American National Institute of Health. Their study published a paper on aging mechanism last week, which clearly mention how it can be regulated. Though some might worry that this is against natural laws, don’t worry. The aging can only be slowed but not stopped or skip death. But skipping death isn’t far from the pocket of science, though. All they did was understanding the basic concepts and finding the key molecule playing a crucial role in aging process.
According to biology, aging is the disability of cell to keep up with maintaining its genes or DNA and internals, sturdy. When the cell fails to keep up its DNA functioning, mitochondrial working, and other mechanisms cells fail, it contributes to aging. Scientists were able to show the link between mitochondrial functioning and DNA repair with a molecule known as NAD+. Regulation of NAD+ is, in turn, the possible way of slowing down the aging process.
Inside the cell
Mitochondria is known as the powerhouse of the cell, which supplies energy for all sorts of cellular activities. NAD+ plays a direct role in the working of mitochondria, on whose absence the functioning of the powerhouse is weakened resulting in the first reason for aging. Next is the malfunctioning of DNA repair mechanisms which is also influenced by NAD+. When combining these two, they have concluded the importance of NAD+ in the aging of the cell.
They conducted the experiment using mice and roundworm. As a preparation, they have induced the disease Ataxia telangiectasia (AT) which is a neurodegenerative disorder causing severe disability and aging. These patients lack a proper DNA repair mechanism experience symptoms of premature aging.
When those test subjects are provided with enough NAD+, the researchers came to see that the pre-mature aging was delayed by a great factor. With the presence of NAD+, the mitochondrial damage was under control and thus the cell haven’t had any energy deficiency.
In medical science.
Though the study was done with mice and roundworm, it does the same on a human too. If NAD+ is lacking in the body, it indirectly means we are aging. Supplementing NAD+ is a great option, but the efficacy is yet to be optimized. Rather than delaying aging this discovery would aid the science world cure disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The scope is wide, all we have to do is to find some application.
NAD Replenishment Improves Lifespan and Healthspan in Ataxia Telangiectasia Models via Mitophagy and DNA Repair. Cell Metabolism, 2016; 24 (4): 566 DOI:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.09.004