Maybe we'll see anti-aging medicine within a decade, at least for the super wealthy.
Researchers have discovered a cause of aging in mammals that may be reversible.
The essence of this finding is a series of molecular events that enable communication inside cells between the nucleus and mitochondria. As communication breaks down, aging accelerates. By administering a molecule naturally produced by the human body, scientists restored the communication network in older mice. Subsequent tissue samples showed key biological hallmarks that were comparable to those of much younger animals.
“The aging process we discovered is like a married couple—when they are young, they communicate well, but over time, living in close quarters for many years, communication breaks down,” said Harvard Medical School Professor of Genetics David Sinclair, senior author on the study. “And just like with a couple, restoring communication solved the problem.”
These are just secondary sources. The research article is behind a paywall.
“It was shocking how quickly it happened,” says co-author Dr Nigel Turner, from UNSW’s Dept of Pharmacology. “If the compound is administered early enough in the ageing process, in just a week, the muscles of the older mice were indistinguishable from the younger animals.”
The mice, which were two-years-old, also performed well on insulin resistance and inflammation – both of which are correlated with ageing. They were compared with six-month-old animals.
“It was a very pronounced effect,” Dr Turner said. “It’s something like a 60-year-old being similar to a 20-year-old on some measures.” [emphasis mine]
Here's a 4 1/2 minute interview with Nigel Turner, one of the researchers.
The article doesn't say what was injected into the mice, but alpha69 at Reditt says it's Nicotinamide Mononucleotide. In the video Nigel Turner says that an equivalent dose for a human being would cost $40,000 per day. "We’re hoping to start some trials in humans next year."
Nicotinamide Mononucleotide has shown promise in reversing diabetes in mice.
Horray! They figured out how to reverse aging (in muscles, in mice, "if caught early").
But wait! Anti-aging injections will cost forty thousand dollars a day.
Another therapy to combat muscle wasting related to age or disease is already in clinical trial.
A new antibody could dramatically boost strength and muscle mass in patients with cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sporadic inclusion body myositis, and in elderly patients with sarcopenia...
The new compound (BYM338) acts to prevent muscle wasting by blocking a receptor that engages a cellular signaling system that exists to put the brakes on muscle development when appropriate. But sometimes those brakes are activated inappropriately, or are stuck on.
In the study the compound boosted muscle mass 25 to 50 percent and increased strength in animal models. Those gains were significantly superior to those of compounds that blocked a single receptor activator. Clinical trials are currently underway.
Athletes looking to gain every competitive advantage might also be interested in this therapy!