Feb 14 2013, 3:23am CST | by Luigi Lugmayr
The HRT is prescribed for menopausal women who cross 50 years to mitigate hot flushes and mood changes they experiencea as they age, although it also protects bones.
About one in five women carries a gene called Apo-E4 that acclerates ageing, increasing their susceptiblity to dementia. But HRT appears to protect the DNA and effectively slows down ageing, say the researchers, the Telegraph reports.
Natalie Rasgon of Stanford University School of Medicine in California said: "This shows that (the gene) is contributing to ageing at the cellular level well before any outward symptoms of decline become apparent. Yet oestrogen appears to have a protective effect for middle-aged women who are carrying this genetic risk factor."
The study, which involved 70 healthy women aged 45 to 65 years, did not follow them long enough to find out which ones developed Alzheimer's. But over a two-year period it looked at changes in their cells that denoted ageing.
Researchers looked for changes in the length of what are known as telomeres, which are repeated sequences of DNA that "cap" the end of chromosomes.
They act rather like the plastic caps on shoelaces - protecting genetic material from damage. Telomeres shorten over the years, and scientists regard their length as a good measure of biological age.
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.
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