Blood markers may reveal brain and vascular age.
Proposing a potential breakthrough, researchers suggest employing a blood test to ascertain the biological age of organs. This approach could facilitate proactive treatment before the onset of illness, offering a preemptive strategy. Additionally, the method may prove instrumental in predicting the advancement of conditions like Alzheimer's disease, providing valuable insights into disease progression for more effective healthcare interventions.
As per a news release, the study of 5,678 people, led by Stanford Medicine investigators, has shown that our organs age at different rates, and when an organ's age is especially advanced in comparison with its counterpart in other people of the same age, the person carrying it is at heightened risk both for diseases associated with that organ and for dying.
According to the study, about 1 in every 5 reasonably healthy adults 50 or older is walking around with at least one organ aging at a strongly accelerated rate.
A promising prospect lies in the potential ability of a straightforward blood test to identify organs undergoing accelerated aging, allowing for timely therapeutic interventions long before clinical symptoms emerge.
"We can estimate the biological age of an organ in an apparently healthy person," said the study's senior author, Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, a professor of neurology and the DH Chen Professor II. "That, in turn, predicts a person's risk for disease related to that organ."
The study's lead authors, Hamilton Oh and Jarod Rutledge, both graduate students in Wyss-Coray's lab, published their findings online on December 6 in the journal Nature.