Anti-aging medicine refers exclusively to slowing, preventing, or reversing the process of aging. In recent news, scientists have revealed a drug to reverse the characteristics of aging has been successfully trailed in animals.
The team at Erasmus University Medical Centre are located in the Netherlands. Although this is a ground breaking discovery it is yet to be tested on humans, though scientists are forecasting human trials for what they hope will be a successful treatment for anti-aging. Additionally, Dr Dusko Lilc, a stem cell scientist at Kings College London commented on the results, stating that the trails were “impossible to dismiss” while some questions remain unanswered.
The drug has enabled old mice to be rejuvenated, to restore their stamina, fur coat and even some organ functions. The method works by flushing out retired or “senescent” cells within the body that have stopped dividing.
Senescent cells are amassed naturally as we grow older, they release chemicals that cause inflammation and have been associated with aging. The drug, a modified FOXO4 peptide was produced by scientists and it selectively kills senescent cells by disrupting their chemical balance.
Dr Peter de Keizer states “I got very rebellious; people insisted I was crazy for trying and for the first three times they were right.”
The mice he tested fell into three categories, some were naturally aged and the equivalent of 90 in mouse years, some were programmed genetically to age rapidly and others were aged by chemotherapy. The drug was given three times a week and the experiment has been taking place for almost a year. There are no known signs of side-effects however as Dr de Keizer states “mice do not talk” it is believed that this drug would have little to no effect on normal tissues.
There are high hopes that this drug will be used for anti-aging purposes in the future, but until more high quality research is carried out, it is better to be reserved about the experiment findings.
- Marjolein P. Baar. et al. Targeted Apoptosis of Senescent Cells Restores Tissue Homeostasis in Response to Chemotoxicity and Aging. March 2017. Vol 169, Issue 1, p132-147.e16.
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