Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Amish Mutation Protects Against Diabetes and May Extend Life

A genetic mutation exists in an Amish community in Indiana that protects members that have the mutation from Type 2 diabetes. The mutation is also thought to extend the lifespans of those that carry it. The mutation affects a protein called plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 also known as PAI-1. The protein itself is known for promoting blood clotting. The mutation causes carriers to produce low levels of this protein. The protein also is suspected to have connections to the aging process. In lab experiments, mice engineered to have higher levels of the protein seem to age faster and dye younger than those with regular levels. In the Amish community, the carriers of the mutation were found to have an avergae life span of age 85 which was roughly ten years longer than members of the community without the mutation. More tests done on the community showed that carriers of the mutation had 28 percent lower levels of insulin. Carriers of the mutation also seem to have had 10 percent longer telomeres than those without. Telomere length is an indicator for biological aging. Longer telomeres are linked to longevity. To me this research is pretty interesting. I hope scientists are able to use this research in order to help diabetes patients in the future.   



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