Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

People with moles age more slowly than others

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People who seem to stay younger for longer are also likely to have more moles, research released yesterday suggests.

A study of twins found a striking correlation between high numbers of moles and a biological marker for slow ageing.

As a result, people with a lot of moles might be expected to live longer than those who have very few, despite facing a greater risk of skin cancer.

Dr Veronique Bataille, from the Twin Research Unit at King’s College London, who led the study said: “The results are very exciting as they show, for the first time, that moley people who have a slightly increased risk of melanoma [skin cancer] may, on the other hand, have the benefit of a reduced rate of ageing.

“This could imply susceptibility to fewer age-related diseases such as heart disease or osteoporosis, for example. Further studies are needed.”

Moles appear in childhood and tend to vanish from middle age onwards. People with white skin average about 30 moles, although some may have as many as 400.

The reason for these differences is unknown, as is the function of moles. Previous research has shown that up to 60 per cent of susceptibility to moles is inherited.

Because moles disappear with age Dr Bataille’s team looked at their relationship with telomere length, a good biological indicator of an individual’s rate of ageing.

Telomeres are protective bundles of DNA found at the end of chromosomes in all cells. As cells divide, the telomeres shorten until a point where the chromosomes become unstable. The cell may then stop dividing or die.

The scientists compared more than 1,800 twins and found that participants with high numbers of moles – more than 100 – had longer telomeres than those with fewer than 25 moles.

The difference between the two groups was equivalent to six to seven years of normal ageing estimated by looking at the average rate of telomere length loss per year.

People with a lot of moles appeared to have longer telomeres and to keep their moles for longer. Those with shorter telomeres had fewer moles and tended to lose them more quickly with age.

Prof Tim Spector, head of the Twin Research Unit and co-author of the study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, said: “We now plan to look in more detail at the genes which influence the numbers of moles and to see whether they may also slow down the ageing process.” The Telegraph. See also a similar story on the BBC.

There’s also supposed to be a correlation between people with autism and aspergers looking younger than their years (ironically in spite of the extra [shock! horror!] oxidative stress caused by low glutathione levels). I wonder if there is also a correlation between autistics and moles, or whether there are two separate phenomena going on?

All the women I know who are about my age have wrinkles around their eyes, yet I have none. Sometimes I find myself staring across restaurant tables thinking; surely you are too young to have wrinkles? I have aspergers*, and plenty of moles from my Dad’s side of the family. The aspie side.

Or it could be the sheer perfection of my diet, which is low in fruits and vegetables and high in cholesterol, salt, fat and sugar? Grin.

Right. As I’m going through one of my weird energetic manic phases at the moment (induced by an extremely low carbohydrate diet combined with drinking espresso and eating cheese), I’m off to drink cocktails and do dancing.

* I’m treating it as a fact now.


Written by alienrobotgirl

11 August, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Autism

One Response

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  1. A very interesting finding indeed.I remember from“Reduced Risk Of Internal CancersRemember, non-melanoma skin cancers are mostly a nuisance, unless you ignore them. I have a few frozen every year. I thank my dermatologist and then go out to celebrate, knowing that long ago science associated non-melanoma skin cancers, a marker for sun exposure, with a reduced risk of dying from internal cancers.”


    12 August, 2007 at 1:08 am

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