If we talk about biomarkers of aging, how can we assess aging in a person with available tests? There is a wide array of genomic tests that are available.
Yeah, I think that we often talk about interventions as being a great breakthrough in aging. But the other great breakthrough is biomarkers.
Starting even in 2010, most people in the aging field would have said that trying to define molecular biomarkers of aging has been a failure. It's still the best thing to predict mortality is looking at things like walking speed, grip strength, time to get up and go, that sort of functional measures. The problem with those is they really only work in an older group of people like 60 - 70 and above. Dr. Brian Kennedy. Dr. Anton Titov, MD.
And we need something to measure biologic aging across the entire life course. In the last 10 years or so, however, using AI and deep data sets, there have been a whole range of different biologic clocks that try to predict the rate at which you're aging. Dr. Brian Kennedy. Dr. Anton Titov, MD.
And now there's several aging tests available to the consumer. The most advanced of these are the epigenetic clock or the DNA methylation clocks. So you can go to various companies, and either put saliva in the tube or on a piece of paper, or go take a blood sample and measure the methylation state of cells, the DNA you get from cells in those samples. And they can make an estimate of your biologic aging rate. So I think these are biomarkers of aging. There are others as well that are really exciting. We're using them now as endpoints in our clinical studies.
They're not fully validated, there's still research to be done. But they do seem to predict the onset of disease, frailty, some of them predict mortality. And so it seems like we're on the right track now in terms of heavy ways to measure the rate at which people are actually aging. And for early adopters, you can go find these kinds of aging rate tests and take them. Dr. Brian Kennedy. Dr. Anton Titov, MD.
And how reliable are those aging rate tests? So for example, if the same person goes in, submits two or three saliva samples over a period of a month or several weeks, will they really show the same age? How much of interpersonal and interpersonal variability is in aging tests? Well, you're asking for sort of the experimental error in the test, and that's going to depend on the company. But it seems to be relatively small. But I think there's something else to realize is that we tend to make the assumption that biologic age is going to go up linearly, like chronologic age.
And you're just on some change in slope relative to chronologic age. But that's not I think, what happens.
What I think happens is that there's some events that define sort of a set point for your aging. But within that set point, you can be somewhat biologically younger or somewhat biologically older, based on your lifestyle, your genetics, and what's happening to you in a given set of maybe a month. So I think biological age is probably oscillating around the set point. So generally, it's going up. Dr. Brian Kennedy. Dr. Anton Titov, MD.
But you may actually, if you get a virus, you might be set back by it biologically eight years older. That may be an accurate measurement. But then you recover from the virus and you become slightly biologically younger again. So when you take these tests, like two or three months apart, it's a little bit hard to know how much of that experimental error and how much of that is true oscillation of biological age.