Biomarkers of aging
Biomarkers of aging are biomarkers that better predict functional capacity at a later age than chronological age. Stated another way, biomarkers of aging would give the true "biological age", which may be different from the chronological age.
Validated biomarkers of aging would allow for testing interventions to extend lifespan, because changes in the biomarkers would be observable throughout the lifespan of the organism. Although maximum lifespan would be a means of validating biomarkers of aging, it would not be a practical means for long-lived species such as humans because longitudinal studies would take far too much time. Ideally, biomarkers of aging should assay the biological process of ageing and not a predisposition to disease, should cause a minimal amount of trauma to assay in the organism, and should be reproducibly measurable during a short interval compared to the lifespan of the organism.
Although graying of hair increases with age, hair graying cannot be called a biomarker of ageing. Similarly, skin wrinkles and other common changes seen with aging are not better indicators of future functionality than chronological age. Biogerontologists have continued efforts to find and validate biomarkers of aging, but success thus far has been limited. Levels of CD4 and CD8 memory T cells and naive T cells have been used to give good predictions of the expected lifespan of middle-aged mice.
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