A paper published in the July issue of the esteemed journal Genetics suggests that the performances of our immune systems as we age are more tightly tied to genetic influences than with other factors. The work was led by a team of experts at the University of Maryland.
By using fruit flies as proxies for humans, researchers were able to determine that a group of genes is responsible for significantly reducing the overall performance level of the immune system, our body's natural defense against infections and pathogens.
“We believe we have identified genes that contribute to the age-related deterioration of the immune response to infection,” UM researcher and team member Jeff Leips, PhD, explains, quoted by Science Blog
In the future, the team hopes to expand on these discoveries, and develop methods of restoring immune system function in seniors, and maybe even delay aging.