What's the secret to living longer? The answer to this age-old question might be found through research looking at neuroendocrine changes throughout the lifespan.
Reporting at the 6th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN 2006) in Pittsburgh, Polish researchers who studied women aged 20 to 102 suggest a small protein derived from fat tissue may be an important determinant of longevity. Other research indicates boosting growth hormone may allow the elderly to live independently longer. ICN 2006 takes place June 19 – 22 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh.
Summaries of these studies' findings follow:Can stimulating growth hormone delay the physiological effects of aging?
Aging is characterized by a progressive decline in muscle mass, strength and exercise capacity, often leading to frailty and the inability for living independently. Since growth hormone (GH) secretion also declines with age and many age-related changes resemble those seen in GH deficiency, the researchers are investigating the potential physical and endocrine effects of stimulating GH in older adults.
In this controlled trial involving 395 men and women aged 65 to 84 with mild limitations in their physical functioning, participants received either placebo or various oral doses of the growth hormone stimulator (GHS) capromorelin, an investigational medication discovered and developed by Pfizer Global Research and Development. Compared to placebo, GHS at any dose prompted an acute GH peak and an increase in overnight GH secretion – increases that were sustained throughout a 12-month treatment period. The GHS treatment also was associated with a 1.4 Kg increase in lean body (muscle) mass and an improvement in tandem (heel-to-toe) walking at 6 months and in stair climbing at 12 months.
Hormone may hold clue to longevity
A protein derived from fat tissue may be an important determinant of longevity, suggests a study of 133 women, including 25 aged 100 to 102, whom researchers found had notably higher levels of adiponectin circulating in their blood. Adiponectin is a peptide that has anti-inflammatory properties, helps keep vessels clear of fatty deposits and plays an important role in metabolism, particularly of lipids and glucose. Insufficient levels of adiponectin are thought to contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes or the formation of lipid deposits in the arteries, collectively known as symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
The study, which was conducted by Agnieszka Baranowska-Bik, M.D., and colleagues from the Medical Centre of Postgraduate Education, Warsaw, Poland, looked at blood plasma concentrations of adiponectin in four groups of women: the 25 centenarians, 26 women aged 64 to 67, 45 between the ages of 20 and 43, and 37 obese women aged 26 to 54. Compared to the other groups, the oldest old had significantly higher concentrations of adiponectin as well as much lower levels of both leptin and insulin. Moreover, the oldest-old women scored better with respect to insulin resistance and total cholesterol. Compared to the obese women, who, as expected, had more evidence of metabolic disturbances, the centenarians had significantly fewer signs of hypertension and other symptoms characteristic of metabolic syndrome. Dr. Baranowska-Bik stops short of calling adiponectin the fountain of youth, but the results of this study, she argues, provide evidence that adiponectin may play an important role in longevity.
Held in a different part of the world every four years under the auspices of the International Neuroendocrine Federation, this year's congress – Bridging Neuroscience and Endocrinology – is being sponsored by the American Neuroendocrine Society and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The first full day of the program, June 20, is being held in conjunction with the 10th Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.
Lisa Rossi | EurekAlert!
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy