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Plastic Surgeon Discusses Study That Shows We Get Wrinkles From Mom


A new study shows how gene mutations we inherit from our mothers can accelerate the signs of facial aging, says Dr. Stella Desyatnikova, of Seattle's Stella Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, but a range of anti-aging treatments can help.

Seattle, Washington (October 2013) — Until recently, doctors believed lifestyle choices were largely responsible for visible signs of aging such as wrinkles, but a recent scientific study suggests our mothers are also to blame. Dr. Stella Desyatnikova, a specialist in Seattle in facial plastic surgery, says the research sheds new light on the aging process that may someday lead scientists to better anti-aging treatments.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing recently determined that signs of age come not just from damage to our own DNA, but also to the DNA we inherit from our matriarchs. The study, published in the journal Nature, examined how changes in mitochondria affect the aging process. It's been known for some time that mitochondria, or cell powerhouses, sustain damage, mutate, and eventually lose energy. Once the cell loses energy, it breaks down and sets the aging process into motion. According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, this new study shows that damaged DNA our mothers pass us also influences our own aging.

"The study gives us an interesting insight into the aging process," says Dr. Stella, who performs procedures that fight signs of facial aging, such as facelift surgery, in Seattle. "We may be able to take a more proactive approach to fighting the signs of aging if we better understand what causes them."

Scientists continue to investigate the possible role antioxidants could play in combatting premature aging because these nutrients effectively work by neutralizing free radicals and giving cells a chance to repair themselves. It's possible that in the future, we may benefit from antioxidant-based preventive anti-aging treatments that can directly target these gene mutations.

"If anything, this study should empower patients," Dr. Stella says. "In the past, people were more likely to go through the aging process by maintaining a wait-and-see attitude, but now, instead of looking in the mirror and trying to guess how they'll age, they can look at their mothers and see how they might age."

Dr. Stella says patients can use this information proactively by looking into cosmetic enhancement procedures.

"As it is now, most people wait until they're in their 50s or 60s before deciding it's time to tackle the effects of aging with surgery, but if people know how they're genetically predisposed, they can deal with the effects at a younger age," says Dr. Stella, who recommends a number of non-surgical and surgical treatments.

BOTOX® Cosmetic is good for smoothing out forehead wrinkles and targeting crow's feet, while dermal fillers can add volume. ActiveFX™ fractional laser skin resurfacing treatments can even out skin tone and stimulate collagen production, she says. She also performs various surgical options such as eyelid surgery at her Seattle practice, one of the top procedures for turning back the clock.

"We're all going to age," Dr. Stella says, "but ultimately, we get to decide what we're going to do about it."

To find out more about the procedures available at the Stella Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, request a consultation or call our office at (206) 682-3223. We look forward to helping you with any questions or concerns you may have, and getting you on your way to looking and feeling your best!

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