Which part of the body’s aging clock is faster? You can look into it with a blood test

Which part of the body’s aging clock is faster? You can look into it with a blood test

Scientists have devised a way to predict which body parts age relatively quickly. There are expectations that it will open a new era of disease prevention.

A research team led by Professor Tony Weisskorei of the Department of Neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine published the results of a study confirming the relationship between aging of body organs and the risk of death in the international academic journal Nature on the 7th.

Which part of the body's aging clock is faster? You can look into it with a blood test
Which part of the body’s aging clock is faster? You can look into it with a blood test

Cars that have been driven for a long time have minor breakdowns, and cracks appear in old buildings and roads. The parts or sections where deterioration, such as failure or cracking, occurs are different for each. As people age, various parts of their bodies become damaged. The research team said that each individual has different body organs that age quickly, and that they have discovered a strategy to predict this.

Build AI prediction model with 5000 protein concentrations

The research team studied 5,678 healthy adults aged 20 to 90 and confirmed that the speed of aging of body organs varies from person to person. They also found that there is a high risk of disease and death related to body organs that age quickly. In this study, body organs that have aged rapidly refer to bodies for which a correlation with abnormal protein concentration has been confirmed.

The research team applied the concentrations of 5,000 proteins in the blood of 1,400 of the study participants to a machine learning algorithm and trained it to predict the participants’ ages. This means that an artificial intelligence (AI) model was built through learning. The accuracy of this algorithm was confirmed through data from the remaining 4,000 people. The research team also confirmed that 900 of the 5,000 proteins were derived from 11 major organs and tissues, including the heart, fat, lungs, immune system, kidney, liver, muscle, pancreas, brain, blood vessels, and intestines, and a total of 858 Dog organ-specific proteins were also selected.

The analysis showed that when the age estimated from proteins derived from 10 organs excluding the intestines was older than the study participant’s actual age, the risk of disease and death associated with those organs increased. A higher age estimated by a protein means that the organs related to that protein are aging rapidly.

“Detect aging in advance by targeting specific proteins”

18.4% of people over 50 years old had at least one organ that was aging faster than average. They had an increased risk of developing disease in the relevant organ within the next 15 years, and their risk of death was 15 to 50 percent higher.

For example, people with accelerated cardiac aging had a 2.5 times higher risk of developing heart failure compared to people with normal cardiac aging, even without diseases or abnormal biomarkers. People with rapidly aging brains were 1.8 times more likely to have cognitive decline than those with younger brains, and people with accelerated aging brains or blood vessels were associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Kidney aging is strongly linked to high blood pressure and diabetes, and heart aging is strongly linked to the risk of atrial fibrillation and heart attack.

The research team explained, “Through a blood test, we can predict which body organs are rapidly aging,” and “We can prevent the disease by intervening before clinical symptoms of the disease appear.”

One in 60 study participants was aging rapidly in two organs. They had a 6.5 times higher risk of death compared to people without aging organs.

Given that excessive aging of organs is closely related to increased risk of disease and death, the research team believed that identifying proteins specific to body organs would be important. Analysis suggests that developing a new drug targeting this protein will help prevent or treat the disease early. Professor Weisskorei said, “If we can reproduce this discovery with 50,000 or 100,000 people, we will be able to detect aging in seemingly healthy people in advance,” adding, “This will mean that we can detect aging before people get sick.” “It means we can provide preventive treatment,” he said. 

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