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expert reaction to PLoS One study on genetic signature for extreme longevity

A new paper examined genetic influences on lengthened lifespan.

Prof Tim Spector, Prof of Genetic Epidemiology at Kings College London, said:

“This is an interesting study of rare centenarians- it suggests that genes are much more important in deciding if you live to 100 or beyond than if you live to 85. The study found one definite gene affects longevity – which is ApoE – not a surpise as it is inked to Alzheimers and high cholesterol. Studies have not yet pinpointed the lifestyle factors that guarantee extreme old age- but the combination of hundreds of genes could be the key. Although with hundreds of genes contributing- personal prediction is never going to be good –with larger studies we will find important biological pathways of aging. These will tell us why some people age faster than others and could lead to exciting future therapies.”

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