Description of the technology
Although many common diseases occur mostly in old age, the impact of ageing itself on disease risk and expression often goes unevaluated. To consider the impact of ageing requires some useful means of measuring variability in health in animals of the same age. In humans, this variability has been quantified by counting
The technology allows extending that approach to mice. Across the life course, many important features of deficit accumulation are present in both species. These include gradual rates of deficit accumulation (slope = 0.029 in humans; 0.036 in mice), a submaximal limit (0.54 in humans; 0.44 in mice), and a strong relationship to mortality (1.05 [1.04–1.05] in humans; 1.15 [1.12–1.18] in mice). Quantifying deficit accumulation in individual mice provides a powerful new tool that can facilitate translation of research on ageing, including in relation to disease.
However, this technology has still some shortcomings. The designs of the two data sources are different. The mouse data represent a small cohort followed to extinction, whereas the study of human ageing includes the
The technology is important, because it raises a very serious question about interpretation of research results, carried out in animal models and translation of these results to the studies of human ageing. The technology proposes a promising way to solve this challenge.
- Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax (Canada)
- Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax (Canada)
- Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Dalhousie University, Halifax (Canada)
- Rockwood, K. et al. «A Frailty Index Based On Deficit Accumulation Quantifies Mortality Risk in Humans and in Mice." 7 Scientific Reports (2017): 43068.
- Mitnitski, A. & Rockwood, K. «The rate of aging: the rate of deficit accumulation does not change over the adult life span." 17 Biogerontology (2016): 199–204.
- Armstrong, J.J. et al. «Frailty in the
Honolulu-AsiaAging Study: deficit accumulation in a male cohort followed to 90% mortality." 70 J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. (2015): 125–131.