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Age-Related Sperm DNA Damage

A new study by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore Berkeley National Library revealed that the DNA in the sperm of men begins to fragment //as they age, and the effects of dwarfism begins to take its toll. The study was carried out on the sperms collected two years ago, over a four-month period, .from 97 healthy men between the age of 22 and 80 years .A technique called flow cytometry was employed to ‘sort’ out the sperms for this study.

The researchers involved in the study observe that deteriorating sperms can cause birth defects in pregnancies due to DNA damage or chromosomal abnormalities. DNA damage has been associated with infertility and miscarriage. A previous study done by the same group revealed that the sperm count and the motility were adversely affected by age. Researchers in France have shown that the chances of infertility in a couple goes up by 70% when the male partner is over 40 years. However, the scientists indicated that the ethnicity,economic background,and diet plays a role in the changes that take place in the sperm DNA.

. According to an article published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the number of men between the age of 35-40 yrs starting a family has increased by 40%, while in men below 30 yrs it has decreased by 20 percent.

This observation is especially important in the present day when the average age of fathers is on the increase.This information also comes as a surprise,as it has always been considered that women were the unfortunates who had a ‘biological clock’ that starts ticking from the time of their birth. This is in reference to the greater chance of a matured women giving birth to a baby with birth defects, the popular example being Down syndrome, a congenital anomaly due to an extra chromosome.

In the light of all the above information it has become perogatory for a man to plan and start his family at the earliest.

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