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Study enrolling 95-year-old ‘superagers’ to help crack the longevity gene

Malte Mueller
Getty Images/fStop

If you or someone you know is 95 years or older, you might be eligible to participate in the SuperAgers study launching in late October.

The goal? To help scientists crack the code to longevity and pass on that discovery to pharmaceutical companies to develop pills that might someday slow down aging and extend human life.  

“Anyone who's 95 and maintains reasonable cognitive function, whether they can understand what the study is about and can willingly participate, we would consider a superager,” said Dr. Sofiya Milman, principal investigator of the study from the American Federation for Aging Research. She’s also director of Human Longevity Studies with the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The study will enroll 10,000 superagers in Connecticut and across the U.S. Participants will provide “a collection of basic medical information. Information about their environment, experiences in life,” Milman told Connecticut Public Radio’s “Where We Live.” “And then we will also mail them a saliva kit to their home. [They’ll] mail back the kit, and we will use that saliva to extract DNA that we will then use to study superager genes.”

Given the study’s focus on inherited factors, Milman said scientists are also inviting the children of superagers to participate.

Sujata Srinivasan is Connecticut Public Radio’s senior health reporter. Prior to that, she was a senior producer for Where We Live, a newsroom editor, and from 2010-2014, a business reporter for the station.

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