Aging is a fate of human being. But the speed of aging varies in individual. Some people look younger and energetic while others have several diseases in middle-age.
Is it possible to predict the onset of diseases which occur in the late stage of life? What does distinguish the persons who will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease from healthy elders? To answer these questions, many studies has been conducted. So far, whereas early detection of a particular disease is possible in some ways, there are no decisive ways to make an exact prediction of most of diseases.
Recently, a research team composed of Kings College London, XRGenomics Ltd, Karolinska University Hospital, and other several organizations, published a paper in which investigating a set of RNA was possible to forecast the later health status of the subjects.
Genome Biology: A novel multi-tissue RNA diagnostic of healthy ageing relates to cognitive health status
In this study, the researchers hypothesized that some human RNAs are representative to express the health status. They calculated the score from combination of the result of investigation in over one-hundred RNAs. The participants were prospectively observed for twelve years. As a result, participants with lower score were likely to be mortal or have an Alzheimer’s disease.
Since only the blood sample is required to examine the “gene age,” this procedure will easily to be adopted to group health examination, when the issue of cost is resolved. In the future, we will be able to imagine our life of a decade after now. Early intervention and preparation are beneficial to not only the potential patient but also their family members.
Gene examination has been utilized in some areas. In Japan, you can let your gene assessed easily. It will cost hundreds USD. The results you can see include the possibility of future onset of some kind of diseases such as diabetes. However, the preciseness of the predictability is still uncertain. Some physicians warn that patients would be anxious excessively about the result.
I am sure that more precise prediction will be enabled at least in some specific diseases in the near future. The issue is that how to utilize the result. It is worried that health insurance companies would reject persons from entering the service if they are diagnosed as risky. In this case, gene diagnosing is rather disadvantageous for the person. Protecting the potential patients is essential before the gene examination is publicly spread.
Some people may become depressive when they know the future risk. Bad news makes us anxious, especially it has uncertainty. Afterward counselling will be needed to the subjects as well.
Future is substantially unpredictable. We are eager to know the future, even if it could bring us regret. We have to have the power to know , accept, and alter the future.