Dr Sohere Roked created The Biological Age Assessment to set patients on a path to improving and managing the internal ageing of their body by showing them the current baseline of their health. The big picture is to influence the ageing process from within, improving and even reversing ailments we previously thought were inevitable, but which medical advancements have shown can actually be addressed. Dr Roked believes that addressing our health – and crucially, our hormonal balance – is the key to age management, and that the results ultimately show in our appearance as well as our energy levels.
Dr Roked explains the process: “Patients book an appointment and then come in for their initial consultation. After filling in an intake form, which outlines their current symptoms and past medical history, medication and family history, we have a discussion around their symptoms and what they would like to get out of our consultations. I then carry out any blood testing needed, and review with results to make their treatment plans, which involve a range of lifestyle changes, nutrition, medication and hormones if needed, and supplements.
“On occasion I send patients for further specialised testing, such as vitamin and mineral testing, gut health testing or genomic testing, which needs to be sent away to laboratories abroad. I would then review after three months to assess effectiveness.
Most patients tend to see me to address low energy and low mood, as well as issues with focus and concentration. Sometimes it is low sex drive. I am seeing more patients with acne or other skin conditions, and hair loss. Hormone treatment can make a huge difference to hair and skin; it is so important to look at changes from within when we are also trying to make changes on the outside. During and after this process, patients often lose weight, see improvements in their skin and hair and say people start to comment on how well and vibrant they look.”
The Biological Age Assessment encompasses:
• Telomere testing – Telomeres are part of our DNA and influence our life expectancy and quality of health. Previously, experts always thought of our genes as being fixed but new evidence shows that certain genes can be altered and even improved through changes in diet and lifestyle, supplements and balancing medical issues. Identifying our telomere age is the first step in the process.
• Cognitive testing – State-of-the art technology allows us to carry out an assessment of multiple cognitive domains, including memory, attention, mental flexibility, reaction time and more, and also to track changes over time.
• Heart health – This non-invasive test is similar to having your blood pressure taken, to measure how healthy your heart is for your age.
• Hormone and thyroid blood profiling – Hormones declining or becoming out of balance as we age has a huge impact on our energy, mood, memory and focus and can cause aches and pains. By testing hormones and identifying issues early on, we can look at rebalancing them and improving vitality and mental sharpness.
• General health screening – Diabetes, high cholesterol, anaemia and poor liver and kidney function can all cause significant problems in ageing. We test for these and to see if general heath is at its optimum.
• Follow-up consultation – Each patient receives a follow-up consultation to discuss results and create a treatment plan for medication, lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements tailor-designed to improve health and biological age.
“Telomere testing is of particular interest as part of the assessment because it gives patients a clear measure of their biological age,” says Dr Roked. “Telomeres are the caps on the end of our chromosomes that protect them, a bit like the plastic tip on a shoelace,” she explains. “Our DNA is located on our chromosomes which means that telomeres protect our genetic material. Telomere length is a good predictor of lifespan; in 2007, a study showed that in elderly twins, the twin with shorter telomeres is three times more likely to die first. Shorter telomeres increase risk of cancers and cardiovascular disease, and even visible signs of ageing in the skin and face. The good news is once you know your biological age, you can make changes to reverse the ageing and lengthen your telomeres.”
Dr Roked shares an example of where The Biological Age Assessment can be so helpful: “A patient in her 50s came to see me as she had been having aesthetic treatments and not seeing the benefits she was hoping for, so her aesthetic doctor advised her to come to me. After blood tests, it was found that her hormone levels were low, her liver function and cholesterol were raised, and she was pre-diabetic. I treated her with hormones, supplements to reduce inflammation and medication to balance her insulin levels.
“We also talked about lifestyle changes that were needed, as she was very stressed, and this was probably a major source of inflammation in her system. Over a few months, she lost 10kg in weight, her liver function and cholesterol normalised, and her sugar levels also returned to normal. As the inflammation reduced, she started to have a real glow in her skin and people were commenting on how well she looked. Her aesthetic practitioner could then continue to treat her and achieve visible results.
I also offer patients health coaching on a more frequent basis if they need more support.. Once they are in optimum balance, I then review their treatment plan and investigations every six months.”