October 13, 2023

New epigenetic clock provides clues to accelerated aging in chronic kidney disease

Editor's Note

Researchers from Europe used an epigenetic clock to accurately measure biological aging in a clinical setting, Wiley October 12 reports. The study, titled "Epigenetic clocks indicate that kidney transplantation and not dialysis mitigate the effects of renal ageing," was published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

The researchers discovered the method while studying more than 400 patients for the aging effects of chronic kidney disease (CKD), including during dialysis and after kidney transplant. They used numerous tests, including blood biomarkers, skin autofluorescence, and epigenetic clocks. 

When using the clocks, they measured the change in biological age of around 47 patients a year after kidney transplantation or 1 year after the start of their dialysis treatment, then compared these findings to the aging of healthy tissue in 48 controls. The biological clock ticked faster for patients with CKD, even after dialysis treatment, and only slowed again following transplant.

The researchers say that the highly accurate epigenetic clock they developed could be used to study treatment strategies in patients with this and other diseases.

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