Washington, April 10 : Stopping the aging process may not be possible, but predicting it sure is.
Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a new biological marker that represents the age of a body's bones.
Their research has also revealed that genetics strongly influences the speed of physical ageing.
The osseographic score (OSS), as the new biological marker has been named, may offer a new tool to doctors for predicting a person's general functioning and lifespan, say the researchers.
Tel Aviv University scientist Dr. Leonid Kalichman, an instructor at The Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, believes that interventions like vitamin supplementation and exercise may used to slow down the process, once a doctor determines that a person is ageing "biologically faster" than he or she should.
"While different biomarkers such as grey hair, wrinkles or elasticity of the skin can help us estimate a person's biological age, these features are hard to quantify," he says.
The researcher says that the OSS biomarker, and treatment at a younger age, may make it possible for nonagenarian persons to function "as though they are 30".
During the study, the research team investigated the bones of about 400 Russian families-787 men who were 18 to 89 years old, and 723 women who were 18 to 90 years old.
It was observed that men and women inherit different aging patterns.
While the genes expressed are more likely to influence how men will age, in women, the genes are more likely to represent at what age visible changes in the bone will begin to appear.