Healthy and elderly? Genes for cognitive function matter more than those for longevity

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Most studies about disease focus on people who are sick, but researchers are starting to find the flip side to that strategy attractive — studying people who have whatever changes are responsible for disease but somehow don’t get sick. Could they provide clues about how they’re able to overcome their biological condition and remain healthy despite being dealt a bad biological hand?

That’s the question that Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, wanted to investigate for healthy aging. For their study, Topol and his team enrolled a group of these people they called the Wellderly: those older than 80 years with no chronic diseases and who did not take any medications for chronic illnesses.

To their surprise, Topol’s group reports that it wasn’t genes associated with long life that set the Wellderly apart. In fact, there was little correlation between the genes that had already been identified as contributors to longevity and the genes that distinguish the Wellderly, who live long but are also relatively free of disease.

Read full, original post: These Are the Genes Behind Healthy Aging

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