Friday, November 30, 2007

Elderly People With Elderly Fathers- Do they face more problems?

Elderly persons with elderly fathers – do they face additional risks?
KAREN RITCHIE a1a1 French National Institute of Medical Research (INSERM), Research Unit U888 “Nervous System Pathologies,” La Colombière Hospital, Montpellier, France Email:
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Psychogeriatric research has explored many factors likely to influence our mental health in later life, but one which has received surprisingly little attention given the current interest in genetic determinants has been paternal age. We now know that both delayed motherhood and delayed fatherhood may have a significant detrimental effect on the mental health of the offspring, but by different mechanisms. While delayed motherhood has been associated with higher rates of obstetric and perinatal problems, delayed fatherhood has been associated with higher risk of new inheritable-mutation disorders. Tarin et al. (1998) have postulated that this is because aging leads to a reduction in the activities of antioxidant enzymes within the seminal plasma and spermatozoa making them more vulnerable to mutational changes. In most syndromes the mutation rate increases with paternal age at an exponential rate. This rate is much higher than in elderly women, perhaps due to the greater number of cell divisions in the male germ line (Crow, 1997).


Monday, November 12, 2007

“Young people who want to have a family may want to start considering the age of the father as much as the mother,”

Sperm from older men also may be more likely to contribute to health problems in children. Recent studies have linked older fatherhood with increased risks of schizophrenia, autism, Down syndrome and other disorders in children. And in this case, “older” means as young as 40.
“Young people who want to have a family may want to start considering the age of the father as much as the mother,” says Dr. Dolores Malaspina, a fertility researcher and chair of the psychiatry department at New York University School of Medicine.
In 2001, Malaspina published a study showing that the chance of a child developing schizophrenia rose in concert with the father’s age. The risk was one in 141 for children of fathers under 25, and one in 47 for those with fathers 50 and older. Other studies have replicated those results. Researchers estimate as many as one in four cases of schizophrenia may be linked with a father’s age.
In another study, Malaspina linked paternal age with a greater chance of autism-related disorders — more than a fivefold increased risk for kids born to fathers 40 or older, compared with those born to dads younger than 30.

Since 1980, birth rates have increased 40 percent for fathers ages 35 to 49, while births involving men under 30 have declined. And Malaspina theorizes the rise in fathers’ ages may explain some of the upswing in autism diagnoses, though this hasn’t been proven.

Dolores Malaspina, MD, MPH, Chairman and Professor of Psychiatry at New York University, received the Distinguished Psychiatrist Award from the American Psychiatric Association.[5] Her research interest is schizophrenia, which she called a collection of different conditions that share a phenomenology. Using an Israeli birth cohort, she and her colleagues found that advanced paternal age explains 25% of the risk for schizophrenia.[6] In further work, she has described a group of patients who have what she calls paternal-age-related schizophrenia (PARS). They were conceived by a father older than 31 years, have no family history of psychosis, and have a sudden illness onset around age 20, with men and women experiencing comparable illness severity. Neurocognitive findings are distinctive.
According to Dr. Malaspina, advanced paternal age is associated with a variety of genetic disorders such as Marfan's syndrome and achondroplasia, and mental disorders such as autism and mental retardation. Because spermatocytes undergo numerous divisions, a 40-year-old man's sperm is the product of 660 divisions; a woman's oocytes undergo 20-30 divisions. Copy errors and mutations are therefore more common in sperm cells. Dr. Malaspina presented evidence that epigenetic effects, which arise from changes in gene expression as opposed to changes in the genetic sequence, are at play in PARS.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Conceiving children by men younger than 35 years of age would prevent many genetic illnesses in future generations, but paternal age is very high

The connection between the Male Biological Clock/ germ line mutations (in sperm only, not in the body's other cells) and New/non-familial Genetic Illness in Offspring is not known to the average American. Some sperm banks cut off donations at a man's 35th birthday to prevent genetic illnesses. Some sperm banks outside of the US do not accept donations of a man older than 30 for the same reason.

This factor is well known by researchers etc. but not conveyed to the public who are led to believe that sperm are fresh and eggs are old. The sperm come from cells that divide and divide and divide. The mother's age is not the key to autism's increase.

Age of the father and the health of future generations by Dr. Leslie B. Raschka

In the most comprehensive study that has ever been carried out in this field, on a total of 200,000 spermatozoids from 18 donors aged between 24 and 74 years old, the UAB researchers have discovered that the older a man is, the more probable it is that his spermatozoa will present anomalies in the number of chromosomes. They also noticed for the first time that the relationship between these two factors is lineal. The scientists at the UAB have determined that the percentage of spermatozoids with all chromosomes (karyotype) doubled (a phenomenon known as diploid) increases by 17% for each increase of ten years in age. Moreover, the researchers determined that the probability of chromosome 6 appearing twice (instead of once) in the same spermatozoid is 5.9% greater every ten years, 11.5% greater for the same anomaly in chromosome 21 (responsible for Down’s Syndrome) and 8.6% greater for sexual chromosomes. The research, co-ordinated by professors Josep Egozcue and Cristina Templado at the Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology Department at the UAB has been published in the periodical European Journal of Human Genetics, which belongs to the Nature group of scientific publications. Also participating in the project were the UAB Researchers Mercè Bosch and Olga Martínez-Pasarell, and Osvaldo Rajmil, researcher at the Andrology Department in the Puigvert Foundation.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Average paternal age keeps going up and up

As in previous years, the trend for men having children later in life is continuing. The following figures are based on live births per 1,000 men. The number of births in the 35-39 age group increased from 60.2 to 61.7. Also increasing, but less dramatically, was for the 40-44 age group, which rose from 23.4 to 23.9. Baio's age group, 45-49, also saw a slight increase.Looking at the larger trend, going back 20 years, in 1984 there were 46 in the 35-39 age group and only 17.8 in the 40-44 group. (all of this is in table 21 of the report)The CDC lumps everyone over 55 in one age group. That has remained steady for more than ten years, at 0.3 births per 1,000
. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of babies born to parents older than age 35 more than doubled from 1970 to 1999, from 6 percent to 13 percent. This trend has led to the rise in the rates of infertility in the past decade, and to increased miscarriage rates and the possibility of a baby born with Down Syndrome (in addition to other genetic abnormalities).

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Prader Willi Syndrome and Advanced Paternal Age: father was about 52

But Costello, a long-time friend and admirer of de Lone, had agreed to do something to help raise money to battle the incurable condition from which de Lone's 9-year-old son, Richard, suffers, the little-known Prader-Willi syndrome, a chromosome disorder that affects 1 in 15,000 births and leaves its victims perpetually starving. "It's got to be one of the most difficult things any parent could have to deal with," says Costello.

De Lone, 61, would be the guy to pull off an impossible reunion like this because there is nobody more universally liked in Marin County music circles. A utility keyboard player who has led many of his own bands - including the pioneering '70s band, Eggs Over Easy, whose 1971 stint in London is credited with starting that country's pub rock movement - de Lone has long been known as one of the nicest guys anyone could want on the bandstand. Those who have wanted him include Bonnie Raitt, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Commander Cody, Boz Scaggs, Lightnin' Hopkins and countless others.

Most cases of Prader-Willi syndrome (about 70 percent) occur when a segment of the paternal chromosome 15 is deleted in each cell. It is not inherited but a germ-line mutation.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

It is not the mother's age at all