‘Longevity gene keeps mind sharp’

The BBC reports that a gene variation that helps people live to a ripe old age also appears to preserve memory and thinking power.

The nonagenarians who possessed the longevity gene were twice as likely to have good brain function than those who did not have the gene variant. Their performance on tests of memory and concentration was far superior.

Scientists are working to develop drugs that can mimic the effect of the gene CETP.

And from Scientific American:

Pharmaceutical companies are currently developing drugs that mimic the effect of this gene variant. Unfortunately, one known as torcetrapib, manufactured by Pfizer, was pulled in December due to increased death and heart problems among study subjects, “but others in development aren’t seeing that, so it might just have been a problem with that drug,” says Barzilai. “If not, it’s a question people might face–whether or not people want to prevent Alzheimer’s even if there’s a small risk of getting a heart attack.”


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