Telomere testing just got easier

Dyskeratosis Congenita (DC) and other Telomere Biology Disorders result in premature shortening of the telomeres and tests for telomere length are important to make a diagnosis. Accurate telomere length testing can be difficult, but scientists are making promising advances in this area. Researchers at Cardiff University and Queen Mary University of London have developed a[…]

ball and stick

Low dose danazol study in the USA

Danazol is believed to slow down the shortening of telomeres that causes the problems associated with dyskeratosis congenita (DC). A study in 2015 appeared to support this: people treated with danazol actually had lengthening of their telomeres, as well as better blood counts,  better lungs and better liver function. Many doctors believe that low dose[…]

Could diabetes tablet preserve telomeres?  

A recent study has suggested that Metformin, a cheap and widely available tablet used to treat common conditions such as diabetes, could have a role in preserving telomere length. Metformin has been shown to promote telomere repeat-containing ribonucleic acid (TERRA). TERRA is a molecule that protects and preserves the telomeres, via activation of a natural chemical present[…]

Healthy lifestyle crucial for telomere health

In an interview to promote her new book, Elizabeth Blackburn, winner of the Nobel Prize for her work on telomeres, describes the small lifestyle changes that can make long-term changes to telomere length, and to healthy lifespan.   Moderate exercise, 45 minutes of walking three times a week is as good as marathon running; stress reduction;[…]

Genomics: hope for a better diagnostic future?

Since dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is so rare, getting diagnosed is a major problem. Blood tests which could help, such as telomere length, are not available to most doctors, so it is likely that many people with DC never know their true diagnosis and therefore may not receive the best treatments. One approach to rectifying this[…]

DC Action visits European Society for Immunodeficiency (ESID) 2016 Meeting

The possible role of telomere disorders such as dyskeratosis congenita in primary immune deficiency-related disorders was highlighted in two presentations: Revy (Paris) described the role of RTEL1 in families with severe dyskeratosis congenita and also in pulmonary fibrosis: 9 of 47 patients in 35 families with pulmonary fibrosis carried an RTEL1 gene. Revy thought that[…]

Telomeres reach the general public

Because reductions in telomere length occur in normal ageing, there is huge interest from the general public in treatments which might lengthen telomeres and therefore slow the normal ageing process. Short telomeres are the underlying problem in dyskeratosis congenita, but telomere length is not routinely measured on the NHS. Private spas in London are offering[…]

Telomeres in space?

Julian Rubenfien, a high school student from New York, has won a competition to investigate why astronauts age more quickly while in space. He thinks that telomeres may shorten more rapidly in space than they do when back on earth and his experiment will check this out. Rapid telomere shortening is also the problem that[…]

Could Treatment for Rare Disease Reverse Aging Time Bomb?

Great excitement today at DC Action – the patient support group for dyskeratosis congenita and telomere repair defects; a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that Danazol, a cheap and widely available medication, can reverse the shortening of telomeres that leads to the premature aging responsible for their illness. Champagne[…]