New research has found that a single region of the brain may control the ageing process.

For years, men and women alike have tried, and often failed, to find the key to eternal youth, yet new studies may seem to contradict the process.

Researchers now have reason to believe that the hypothalamus – the area of the brain which controls hunger, thirst, body temperate and fatigue, may be the ‘fountain of ageing’, controlling how the body declines over time.

Senior author Professor Dongsheng Cai, at Albert Einsten College of Medicine in the United States, said: ‘Scientists have long wondered whether ageing occurs independently in the body’s various tissues or if it could be actively regulated by an organ in the body.

‘It’s clear from our study that many aspects of ageing are controlled by the hypothalamus.

‘What’s exciting is that it’s possible – at least in mice – to alter signalling within the hypothalamus to slow down the ageing process and increase longevity.’

The hypothalamus, which is located deep within the brain, is known to play a fundamental role in growth, developed, reproduction and metabolism.

Professor Cai suspected that the hypothalamus might also play a key role in ageing through the influence it exerts throughout the body.

He said: ‘As people age you can detect inflammatory changes in various tissues.

‘Inflammation is also involved in various age-related diseases, such a metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, neurological disease and many times of cancer.’