What is your immune age? This new tool can say

Every day, science surprises with new tools. And the latest to catch the eye of experts is called iAge. His proposal is, basically, to point out the “immunological age” of people, based on the degree of chronic inflammation present in the body. For this, the product has a type of artificial intelligence (AI) called deep neural network.

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This artificial intelligence analyzes blood-borne markers of inflammation, such as cytokines, which deliver messages between immune cells and to other cells in the body. Using blood samples from 1.001 people, ages 8 to 19 years, the team discovered patterns between these inflammatory markers and various age-related conditions.

The study is part of an effort to understand how chronic inflammation signatures change with aging. This chronic inflammation has been linked to several diseases, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s, and associated with signs of aging, including increased cell senescence, where cells stop functioning.

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Although AI has identified which cytokines may be important for age-related inflammation, it has not provided information on why specific cytokines were linked to aging. The experts themselves mention that, given that the immune system acts as a network of several layers where a single cytokine can trigger several events, understanding which changes lead to chronic inflammation will require much more work.

According to those involved in the study, many of these inflammatory cytokines are also essential components of defense mechanisms to protect against infections. The next steps in studies involving the tool should require careful planning. “We are playing with fire. Because many of these molecules may be helping in some cases and harming others. We must be very cautious,” the researchers wrote. The full study is available here.

Source: Live Science

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