Lancaster University

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Age concern and help the aged fund research into the causes of ageing

10/08/2009 11:25:28

Dr David Clancy
Dr David Clancy

Research into Ageing, the medical research arm of Age Concern and Help the Aged, has announced it is funding research into the basic biology of ageing, which aims to establish exactly what makes us age.

The research, which is being undertaken by Dr David Clancy, from the School of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University, could have a huge impact on our understanding of a range of diseases which become more common with age such as dementia and cancer.

Dr David Clancy commented, “Previous research found a set of genes in fruit flies – an insect which shares many genes and biochemical pathways with humans – that seem to be linked to the ageing process. This research aims to identify which genes cause or permit the natural ageing process by restoring their activity to the way it was in young adulthood and to describe the effects this has on health in later life.”

Professor James Goodwin, Head of Research at Age Concern and Help the Aged who are funding the study said, “For many people later life is a happy time but for others it can be a time dominated by illness and disease. The major risk factor for the most common causes of morbidity and mortality is age, but despite medical advancements, little is known about the basic biology behind ageing. The research that Dr Clancy is undertaking is therefore crucial because if the fundamental causes of ageing are established, it could have a huge impact on our understanding of age-related illnesses.”