The main goal of the project is to search for new medical strategies to ensure healthy aging, increase the life expectancy of the population and, as a result, improve the quality of life. For this, mathematical methods will be proposed and high-performance algorithms for analyzing biomedical data and searching for combinations of specific cellular and molecular changes, mechanisms leading to a shift in the phenotype of elderly people from healthy physiological aging to clinically expressed pathologies (Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and others) will be developed. The solution to this problem will allow identifying markers of early diagnosis of pathologies based on blood and other biological fluids before the onset of motor and other symptoms. The main idea of the project is to apply recently developed network analysis methods to identify longitudinal and/or network biomarkers and, as a consequence, to find new prognostic and therapeutic targets. At the same time, an attempt will be made to explain the observed changes based on systems medicine using various network dynamic mathematical models.
Results obtained in 2018
Aging is an extremely complex and multifactorial process. Hereditary, genetic factors play an important role in the predisposition to delayed or early aging. However, they are not uniform, well-defined. The fact is that the evolution of the human genome took place in a wide variety of conditions: geographic, climatic, sociological. Adaptation to them, as well as to various pathogens and diets, has caused great genetic diversity between ethnic groups, and this process continues.
Accordingly, the genetic risk factors for aging and related diseases are also different. In addition to the long-term perspective, there is also an individual: family history of a particular person, a set of socio-economic factors, environmental factors, living environment.
Scientists from the Laboratory of Systemic Medicine for Healthy Aging have proposed and are developing an integrative approach to the study of this problem, which takes into account all of the above factors. Especially important is the conclusion about the decisive role of the interaction between the three main types of the genome in the human body: nuclear, mitochondrial, and microbiotic. Mitochondria – cell organelles that play a key role in its oxygen energy – are the “descendants” of bacteria, once captured by primitive cells (prokaryotes), and their genome co-evolved and interacted with the nuclear for millions of years. The gut microbiota, a collection of bacteria, is another example of a symbiosis key to digestion and the immune system. It is not surprising that disturbances in these processes were directly related to risk factors for early aging, and the study of the “three-way” genomic interaction is the key to understanding the mechanisms and possible ways of diagnosis and therapy.
Researches in the laboratory are developing the concept of aging as an inflammatory process associated with an increase in the number of old cells in tissues and the spread of a weak, chronic inflammatory response. This universal process runs through the entire organism from the intestine to the brain. Its “carrier” is the active molecules of the so-called “aging phenotype”, which causes an immune response and provokes cell aging. The appeal of this approach is obvious: if aging is an inflammatory process, then there must be therapy. Scientists say, that the aging process can be slowed down and even reversed by realizing the millennial dream of mankind.
In 2018 9 articles were published in Web of Science journals, 8 of which belong to the first quartile by fields of science.