Yuxian Ma, Olesya Ajnakina, Andrew Steptoe and Dorina Cadar
Dementia is a major health challenge that could steal away the opportunity for successful ageing of the population. A priority is to identify lifestyle factors that may reduce the risk of dementia, or even prevent it. The modifiable risk factors for vascular diseases — such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake, lack of physical activity, low intake of antioxidants and high intake of saturated fats — are receiving greater attention in this area because of their association with cognitive impairment and dementia in older people.
Obesity, which is linked to lifestyle behaviours, is an important modifiable risk factor. In our recent study carried out at the UCL Department of Behavioural Science and Health, we found that being overweight or obese was associated with a greater risk of developing dementia.
This article originally appeared on the OUPblog on 26 October 2013: http://blog.oup.com/2013/10/metabolomic-markers-of-aging/
Ana M. Valdes
Aging is a complex process of accumulation of molecular, cellular, and organ damage, leading to loss of function and increased vulnerability to disease and death. Lifestyle choices such as smoking and physical fitness can hasten or delay the aging process. This has led to the search for molecular markers of age that can be used to predict, monitor, and provide insight into age-associated decline and disease.
Metabolomics is a novel technology that entails the simultaneous study of numerous low-molecular weight compounds, called metabolites. The aim is to profile all low-molecular weight metabolites that are present in biological samples. Metabolites represent intermediate and end products of metabolic pathways that rapidly reflect physiological dysfunctions and may mirror early stages of a pathological process. Continue reading “Metabolomic markers of aging”→