The latest Lifespan.io crowdfunding campaign is in support of AgeMeter development, an infrastructure technology used to assemble the data needed for compound biomarkers of aging built from existing simple health measures. The development of a reliable, accurate, and low-cost biomarker of biological age, that reflects an individual’s burden of molecular damage, and thus risk of disease and mortality, is an important topic. Without such a measure, it is very time-consuming to test potential rejuvenation therapies, as the only practical approach is to wait and see what happens over the life span of the test subjects. That is a formidable expense even for mouse studies. With such a measure, most of that work could be replaced with a quick set of tests before and after the use of a potential therapy.
While a great deal of attention is given to biomarker development that is based on patterns of DNA methylation, there is a school of thought that suggests researchers could build something just as useful by suitably combining existing simple measures such as heart rate, blood pressure, grip strength, and so on. The greatest challenge in the development of such a biomarker lies in ensuring accuracy and reliability at the point of data collection, while still allowing large numbers of people to be tested cost-effectively. This initiative seeks to modernize and improve existing approaches, now a more pressing concern given the advent of potential rejuvenation therapies such as clearance of senescent cells.
Centers for Age Control has launched a fundraising campaign on Lifespan.io in support of the AgeMeter, a diagnostic system to measure human functional age. The device is meant to assist in the assessment of therapeutics that address the aging processes during clinical trials, as well as being a useful tool for the general practitioner. As research efforts intensify towards developing effective rejuvenation therapies, the need for cost-effective ways of measuring the rate of aging becomes all the more urgent. An effective functional age test would be a very useful tool in determining this, complementing the data from biochemical tests.
The list of biomarkers AgeMeter will assess includes auditory and visual reaction time, lung capacity, muscle coordination, decision-making time, memory, and a few others, which are reliable predictors of functional age in previous studies. AgeMeter will be used by physicians for the health assessment of patients and to help highlight areas of concern. This will allow a doctor to work with the patient to develop an effective personalised healthcare strategy and could be of great value in helping people to maintain health.
“AgeMeter is a modernized successor to the H-SCAN functional age test that was originally developed in 1990 to assess physical biomarkers of aging. We have gathered an impressive experience in measuring functional age with H-Scan. Now we can make it serve humanity even better. AgeMeter will be a low-cost, modular touch screen device with special peripherals for integrating multiple cognitive and biometric assessment technologies. We hope to not only make a functional prototype suitable for research needs, but also to create software for a user account system for each test participant. This will enable individual users to store and access multiple test results, and therefore analyze the progression of one’s metrics over time and in response to potential anti-aging interventions. We believe this is the most valuable part of the project for people who care about their health and want to be sure their lifestyle is good for them.”