Personality Traits and Longevity Linked to Aging

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Personality Traits and Longevity Linked in Study

posted on September 8, 2009

Did you read Life Extension Express yet? If so, refer to Chapter 11: Step 7“Attitude.

In some ways, it™s the most important chapter in the book. It sets the foundation for the first six steps that could buy you enough healthy years to live long enough to take advantage of tomorrow™s extreme life extending technologies. That™s why it encourages me to see corroborating articles and opinions from medical experts.

Listen, I really want this for you. I™m absolutely convinced some people who would have otherwise perished, will see the day when scientific breakthroughs give them open-ended youth, due to the information in Life Extension Express. But some isn™t enough.I want it for you. I want it for those you love and for those you don™t know. I want it for everyone and will be thrilled when thousands and then millions benefit.

You can be one of them, especially if you get your head into the longevity game. Your body will follow.

The following information was posted on Longevity and Age Management, Aging, Cardio-Vascular, Longevity.

Past studies conducted on siblings and offspring of centenarians have clearly demonstrated that longevity runs in strong families. In fact, studies have shown distinctly lower prevalence rates and delayed onset of several diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes. Because personality traits have been shown to have hereditary components, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine's New England Centenarian Study "hypothesized" that certain personality characteristics could be critical to the healthy aging of the offspring of centenarians.

Collaborating with scientists from the National Institute on Aging, the researchers tested their hypothesis using the NEO-Five-Factor Inventory questionnaire to measure the personality traits of 125 women and 121 men with an average age of 75. None of the participants were related, and each was the offspring of a centenarian. The questionnaire scored five key personality characteristics: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

Researchers found that both male and female participants "scored in the low range of published norms for neuroticism and in the high range for extraversion." The women also scored on the high side for agreeableness. Both the men and women participants scored within the normal range for conscientiousness and openness, and the men scored within normal range for agreeableness. The findings were published on line in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

"Interestingly, whereas men and women generally differ substantially in their personality characteristics, the male and female offspring tended to be similar, which speaks to the importance of these traits, irrespective of gender, for health aging and longevity," says Dr. Thomas Perls, MPH, Director of the New England Centenarian Study. "For example, people who are lower in neuroticism are able to manage or regulate stressful situations more effectively than those with higher neuroticism levels. Similarly, high extraversion levels have been associated with establishing friendships and looking after yourself," he says. And he adds "these findings suggest that personality is an important characteristic to include in studies that assess genetic and environmental determinants of longevity."


What can be achieved through manipulation of skin stem cells? Quite a lot, it seems, and by virtue of its accessibility we might expect to see important techniques first pioneered in skin regeneration: "Recent advances in skin-resident [progenitor cell] research have revealed that these immature and regenerative cells with a high longevity provide critical functions in maintaining skin homeostasis and repair after severe injuries along the lifespan of individuals. Enhanced ultraviolet radiation exposure, inflammation and oxidative stress and telomere attrition during chronological aging may induce severe DNA damages and genomic instability in the skin-resident [progenitor cells] and their progenies. The progressive decline in the regenerative functions and/or number of skin-resident [progenitor cells] may cause diverse skin diseases with advancing age. Moreover, the photoaging, telomerase re-activation and occurrence of different oncogenic events in skin-resident [progenitor cells] may also culminate in their malignant transformation into [cancer stem cells] and skin cancer initiation and progression. Therefore, the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant treatments and stem cell-replacement and gene therapies as well as the molecular targeting of their malignant counterpart, skin cancer-initiating cells offer great promise to treat diverse skin disorders and cancers."

Another good reason to keep up with exercise: "Age is the major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and this is attributable in part to stiffening of large elastic arteries and development of vascular endothelial dysfunction (e.g., impaired endothelium-dependent dilation, EDD). In contrast, regular aerobic exercise is associated with reduced risk of CVD. Endurance exercise-trained middle-aged/older adults demonstrate lower large elastic artery stiffness and greater EDD than their sedentary peers. With daily brisk walking, previously sedentary middle-aged/older adults show reduced stiffness and improved EDD. The mechanisms underlying the effects of regular aerobic exercise on large elastic artery stiffness with aging are largely unknown, but likely include changes to the composition of the arterial wall. Enhanced EDD in older adults who exercise is mediated by increased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability associated with reduced oxidative stress. Arteries from old rodents that undergo aerobic exercise training demonstrate increased expression and activity of endothelial NO synthase, reduced oxidative damage associated with reduced expression and activity of the oxidant enzyme NADPH oxidase, and increased activity of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Aerobic exercise also may protect arteries with aging by increasing resistance to the effects of other CVD risk factors like LDL-cholesterol. Habitual aerobic exercise is an effective strategy to combat arterial aging."

Thoughts from Anne C.: "however you do it, the important thing is to get your brain geared up to more accurately assess reality, and the claims people make about it. See, there are plenty of hucksters out there who would probably be more than willing to sell you their Super-Longevity Bio-Kit or some other quackish nostrum. And despite not being a biologist myself, I think I'm at least informed enough on the subject of biogerontology to be able to tell you that anyone who claims to have the 'path to immortality' is either deluded or lying. Hence, taking people who make such claims seriously is likely to be a waste of time for everyone involved, and obviously over time this kind of thing is likely to lead to less actual useful real-world work [on engineered longevity] being done. Here in the real world, the best any of us can do if we want longer, healthier lives for our loved ones and ourselves is contribute toward actual real-world things that promote health, life, and solid research. And in order to figure out what projects are valid and worth supporting, or worth proposing and starting ourselves, critical thinking is utterly essential."

WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER? (September 02 2009)
From Vision: "That our allotted time on this earth is somewhat fleeting has surely not escaped us, especially as we move farther down our life path. In recent years, however, a building revolution in the science of gerontology has heralded the possibility of life extension. This is leading some to speculate about just what the limits to human life might be; adding another decade or two or even centuries might be possible. ... As our knowledge of the biochemistry of aging increases exponentially, it is no surprise that around the globe scientists are discovering hopeful paths that will provide ways to increase human longevity. Meanwhile, biotechnology companies are seeking to bring new products to market - drugs, cells, tissues, and procedures - which they, too, hope will go some way toward extending life as well as bring a profit. Is death therefore in terminal decline? While the commercial and media hype concerning such a possibility has dismayed some mainstream scientists, others such as Aubrey de Grey have spearheaded efforts to, as he puts it, 'cure the disease of aging.' The [SENS Foundation] chairman and biogerontology researcher is not only chasing the dream of immortality; he expects to catch it."

At least some cases of Parkinson's disease are spurred on by mitochondrial failure: "Parkinson's disease is caused by the degeneration of neurons in the midbrain. The mechanisms leading to the loss of these neurons, however, are largely unknown. Recent research revealed that about ten per cent of cases are caused by defects in so-called Parkinson-associated genes. Furthermore, mitochondria, the cellular powerhouses, seem to play a major role. New results [connect] both phenomena, showing that two Parkinson genes maintain the function of mitochondria. ... Functionally impaired mitochondria have been recognized to trigger Parkinson's disease already in the early eighties. The relevance of mitochondria to the loss of neurons seems plausible - after all, mitochondria supply the cells with energy in form of adenosine triphosphate and play a substantial role in the regulation of cell death. Parkinson-associated genes PINK1 and Parkin functionally interact to maintain mitochondrial function. Loss of Parkin or PINK1 function impairs the morphology and activity of mitochondria, which then produce less adenosine triphosphate."


The biochemistry of the heat shock response is connected with enhanced cellular housekeeping and repair, here demonstrated again in nematode worms: "Exposure to mild heat-stress (heat-shock) can significantly increase the life expectancy of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. A single heat-shock early in life extends longevity by 20% or more and affects life-long mortality by decreasing initial mortality only; the rate of increase in subsequent mortality (Gompertz component) is unchanged. Repeated mild heat-shocks throughout life have a larger effect on life span than does a single heat-shock early in life. Here, we ask how multiple heat-shocks affect the mortality trajectory in nematodes and find increases of life expectancy of close to 50% and of maximum longevity as well. We examined mortality using large numbers of animals and found that multiple heat-shocks not only decrease initial mortality, but also slow the Gompertz rate of increase in mortality. Thus, multiple heat-shocks have anti-aging hormetic effects and represent an effective approach for modulating aging."

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