11 October 2023 | Amelia Thornycroft (BMedSci)

Unravelling the Secrets of Aging: The Power of Epigenetic Clocks

Epigenetic clocks have emerged as a ground breaking tool for unravelling the mysteries of aging. Unlike traditional measures of age, which rely solely on the number of years since birth, epigenetic clocks assess an individual's biological age by analysing specific DNA methylation patterns. In this blog, we delve into the concept of epigenetic clocks, explore their accuracy and applications, and discuss their potential to revolutionise personalised medicine and longevity research.

Understanding Epigenetic Clocks

Epigenetic clocks are based on the emerging field of epigenetics, which studies heritable changes in gene expression patterns without altering the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, play a crucial role in regulating gene activity and are known to change with age. By examining these methylation patterns at specific genomic locations, researchers can construct predictive models, or clocks, that estimate an individual's biological age with remarkable accuracy.

Accuracy and Validity

Several prominent epigenetic clocks have been developed, such as the Horvath clock and the Hannum clock. These clocks have demonstrated impressive precision in estimating biological age, often outperforming traditional chronological age as an indicator of overall health and mortality risk. The clocks are trained using large datasets that capture the DNA methylation patterns associated with aging, allowing them to make reliable predictions based on an individual's unique methylation profile.

Applications in Personalised Medicine

Epigenetic clocks hold tremendous potential in the field of personalised medicine. By accurately assessing an individual's biological age, healthcare providers can identify age-related health risks and tailor preventive measures and treatment strategies accordingly. Early interventions based on biological age assessments could help mitigate the onset and progression of age-related diseases, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes.

Anti-Aging Interventions and Therapies

Epigenetic clocks offer a powerful means to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-aging interventions. By monitoring changes in biological age over time, researchers can assess the impact of lifestyle modifications, pharmaceutical interventions, and regenerative therapies on the aging process. Epigenetic clocks provide a quantitative measure of the effectiveness of these interventions, allowing for data-driven decisions and personalised treatment plans.

Advancing Longevity Research

Epigenetic clocks have the potential to revolutionise longevity research. By analysing the biological age of individuals with exceptional longevity, researchers can uncover unique epigenetic signatures associated with healthy aging. This knowledge can lead to the identification of specific genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that promote longevity, potentially guiding the development of interventions to extend human lifespan and improve overall health in old age.

How does the Biological Age Check work?

The Biological Age Check testing approach to determining biological age uses epigenetic DNA modifications to measure DNA methylation patterns at specific locations on the genome, known as epigenetic clocks. These clocks are based on the idea that changes in DNA methylation patterns occur predictably over time and can be used to estimate a person's biological age.

Sample collection is easy! We send you your test kit in the mail, you provide your saliva sample at home and you post your sample back to the lab. The results of this test are typically back in 2-3 weeks following receipt of the sample at the lab.

Find out your Biological Age here: https://www.i-screen.com.au/tests/biological-age-test

Try i-screen's Biological Age Check
Amelia Thornycroft (BMedSci)
Amelia is passionate about Australia's preventive health agenda having worked with some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. Amelia moved to Perth 10 years ago where she founded i-screen to democratise pathology and open access to the health data that really matters.