London, May 26 (ANI): British scientists have identified genes that control the ageing process.
The finding could lead to new drugs to prevent illnesses from heart disease to Alzheimer's.
In the laboratory, researchers have found that mutations could extend the lifespan of animals such as worms, fruit flies and mice, and appear to play the same role in humans.
Professor Linda Partridge, director of the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London, has said that the research could help in the treatment or delay of many diseases simultaneously with medication.
She added that tackling the very causes of ageing, instead of treating the symptoms, could be the best way of dealing with the diseases that result from it.
In her opinion, such scientific advances are offering up hope to improve health during ageing in humans and inspiring a new wave in ageing research.
"Research on the diseases associated with ageing is generally done by separate communities of research workers who read different journals, attend different conferences and generally do not communicate with each other," The Telegraph quoted Partridge as saying.
She added: "But by tacking the causes of ageing itself we could treat, or at least delay, a broad spectrum of conditions simultaneously."
Drugs, which inhibit the nutrient pathways in humans, could replicate the effects of a healthy diet.
And thus, they can act not only to increase lifespan but also to target a broad range of ageing related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and Alzheimer's.
Partridge said that the research indicates a new approach to the treatment of age-related conditions.
"The major burden of ill health is in the older section of the population. The new discoveries about ageing have raised the prospect of increasing the number of years that people enjoy in good health, with broad-spectrum preventative medicines for the diseases of ageing," said Linda.
She will present the findings at a public lecture at the Royal Society in London. (ANI)