Study: Toxic protein causes aging

June 16, 2011 4:06:16 AM PDT
A new study says that aging may not simply be a gradual wearing out of cells.

The study found that the same toxic protein that causes a rare premature aging disorder, also plays a key role in normal cell aging.

The finding means that aging is not a passive wearing out of cells, but instead an active biological mechanism that is programmed into cells.

Researchers say the more they understand the aging process, the closer they get to preventing age related diseases like Alzheimer's.

The study was led by Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.