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Longevity Mitochondria

Mitochondria May Contain Genetic Secrets of Agin

21 years, 2 months ago

10280  0
Posted on Dec 24, 2002, 1 a.m. By Bill Freeman

A study of centenarians, Parkinson's disease sufferers, and obese young adults has revealed that centenarians have less genetic variation in a particular gene than Parkinson's disease patients. Dr Masashi Tanaka and colleagues at the International Institute of Biotechnology in Japan found that Parkinson's sufferers had 22 different variations in a gene in the mitochondria, while centenarians had just 9 variations.

A study of centenarians, Parkinson's disease sufferers, and obese young adults has revealed that centenarians have less genetic variation in a particular gene than Parkinson's disease patients. Dr Masashi Tanaka and colleagues at the International Institute of Biotechnology in Japan found that Parkinson's sufferers had 22 different variations in a gene in the mitochondria, while centenarians had just 9 variations. Tanaka was surprised by his findings, as while he expected to find variations in the Parkinson's sufferers he was not expecting to see so many in the centenarians. Even more surprising to the scientists was the discovery that the variations in the centenarians were not harmful. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells, and are of great interest to anti-aging scientists as it is thought that damage to mitonchondrial DNA plays an important role in aging and many age-related diseases.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Journal of Neuroscience Research 2002; 70:347-355

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