Researchers Discover Common Cause for Aging and Age-Related Disease

Why do serious diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s mainly hit us in middle age or later? The links between aging and age-related diseases have proved elusive. In studies of the powerfully informative roundworm, C. elegans, UCSF scientists have discovered that a class of molecules found in the worms and in people can both prolong life in the worm and prevent the harmful accumulation of abnormal proteins that cause a debilitating Huntington’s-like disease. The finding appears to be the first evidence in an animal of a link between aging and age-related disease.