VIA Longitudinal Tests

An explosion of scientific research on aging biomarkers has emerged over the past 20 years, with over 300 objective tests being proposed that measure biological vs. chronological age. Few, if any of these biomarkers have been tested prospectively.  For this reason, the Vitality In Aging (VIA) Longitudinal Study of Aging has been designed to test the current and future biomarkers of aging in a prospective study, validating their accuracy and their predictive value. To do this, it requires a study that concomitantly measures the person’s physiological function, cognitive function, quality of life, muscle aging status, bone aging status, body composition, healthspan, and lifespan. 

The VIA Longitudinal Study will start out as a validation study to prospectively test the predictive and prognostic value of old tests as well as new biomarkers of aging.

Mandatory and Optional Tests

Blood Tests

This test is mandatory.

Blood tests that detect common disorders as well as biomarkers of risk of age-associated diseases will be done in all volunteers. The tests include cardiac/inflammatory markers, hormones and binding proteins, glucose metabolism and insulin resistance markers, lipids, liver and kidney function, immune function, blood counts, and prostate cancer screening.

Medical History and Standardized Surveys

This test is mandatory.

A medical history and physical exam will also be done at the time of the informed consent interview.  Standardized survey questionnaires for the 8 domains of health aging will also be administered.

Whole Genome Sequencing

This test is optional.

Participants will have the option to sequence their full genomes at 30x coverage through the Harvard Personal Genomes Project, in cooperation with George Church and Veritas gene sequencing corporation.

Body Composition

This test is optional.

DEXA scans will be used to measure BMI, body fat, lean body mass, bone density, as well as visceral fat content. Bioimpedance will also give us body water, hydration status, and Phase angle.

Physiological Functioning

 

This test is optional.

This will include Exercise Treadmill tests (in younger patients) using the Modified Bruce protocol to measure maximal exercise tolerance.  In all participants, we will do 6-minute-walk testing to measure submaximal exercise tolerance.

 

Cognitive Function

This test is optional.

Neuropsychological testing will be done using 4 validated tests that measure different aspects of cognitive function. Participants will also be asked to complete various tests through AgeMeter.

Autonomic health Tests

This test is optional.

This will include baseline (am) heart rate and baseline (am) heart rate variability testing, done each morning using a home wrist watch based device produced by Morpheus. 

Skeletal Muscle Tests

This test is optional.

This will include lean body mass on DEXA scan and bio-impedance test, 30 second chair-to-stand test to measure lower extremity muscle function, and Jamar dynamometer hand grip to measure upper extremity muscle function.