Aging is a thing that makes some of us sad. Some people just try not to think about getting old. But scientists have found a method that can help us avoid this unpleasant stage of life. This article is going to tell you if it’s possible to stop or, at least, slow down the process of aging with the help of modern science and technologies.
Bright Side was really impressed by these discoveries and can’t wait to share some of these scientific breakthroughs with you.
We hear about the usefulness of workouts, healthy diets, and the lack of bad habits almost every day. In 2018, it was proven that these facts really could prolong your life by more than 10 years. A study lasting for 34 years has shown that if people quit smoking, keep their body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9, workout 30 minutes each day, reduce the amount of alcohol they consume, and follow a healthy diet, men have a chance to prolong their lives by 12 years, and women — by 14 years.
A diet isn’t just a hobby. Scientists have proven several times that reducing your calorie consumption can really slow down aging and reduce the risk of age-related diseases. But it doesn’t mean you can’t eat your favorite cake. A study conducted in 2018 shows that the time you eat and the amount of food you eat have an anti-aging effect and reduce the risk of things like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and dementia. The main rules include intermittent fasting.
9. Mental health
Mental disorders, including substance abuse, can speed up the process of aging. A study published in August 2018 analyzed more than 60,000 brain scans of people from 9 months to 105 years old. A group of researchers, consisting of scientists from Google and Johns Hopkins University, found out that premature aging is caused by:
- schizophrenia (on average, reduces the lifespan by 4 years);
- cannabis abuse (by 2.5 years);
- bipolar disorders (by 1.6 years);
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (by 1.4 years);
- alcohol abuse (by 0.6 years).
By the way, depression wasn’t connected with accelerated aging.
8. Blood transfusion against dementia
During an experiment, it was found out that a blood transfusion from young mice to old ones stimulated the neuron and stem cell production in the brains of old mice, and completely changed the effects of aging. Despite the ambiguous results and a contradictory start-up called Ambrosia (patients can pay $8,000 for blood plasma from young people), a clinical study was set up. The results were amazing: the biomarkers of older people suffering from Alzheimer’s and cardiac issues showed improvements. But unfortunately, in some patients, the effect turned out to not be long-lasting.
In the last few years, researchers have managed to achieve great results in treatment and disease prevention by removing aging cells or those cells that have stopped dividing. These experiments were conducted on mice using transgenes. In 2018, 2 independent research groups managed to use transgenes for neurodegeneration prevention. As a result, scientists from the Mayo Clinic learned to remove aging brain cells in patients with Alzheimer’s, preventing brain degeneration.
Another laboratory used transgenes to destroy old cells in the brains of mice exposed to herbicides, which causes Parkinson’s disease in people and mice. This therapy stopped the disease.
6. 3D printing of human tissue with capillaries
In June 2018, Prellis Biologics announced that they could print human tissues with living capillaries that can be used for a transplantation. This advancement will help us to print vital internal organs that can replace real ones that become old, diseased, or deformed. Today, we face a global shortage of organs for transplantation, and it’s one of the main causes of death in some countries.
5. Internal organ wrinkle smoothing
We usually care about the wrinkles on our face as we age. But there are more serious problems — internal organ wrinkles. In 2018, researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine found that most of the aging effects, like fatty liver disease, may be the result of our cells’ nuclei getting wrinkly. Those wrinkles appear to prevent our genes from functioning properly. According to their studies, viruses may be able to be modified to deliver lamin to human cells. Lamin is a protein that can smooth out cell membranes.
4. Stem cells against cancer and diabetes
Researchers can manage a given set of stem cells and stimulate their distribution to the appropriate organs. Later, they can be used for cell and tissue regeneration. One of start-ups launched in 2018 is engaged in the development of this kind of therapy using placenta stem cells to treat diseases like cancer, Crohn’s disease, diabetic neuropathies, and so on.
3. Biomarkers of aging
Steve Horvath, an expert in bioinformatics, has worked on creating reliable characteristics of biological age. Last year, Horvath and a group of researchers developed a new biomarker of aging that they call DNAm PhenoAge. It’s much better than previous biomarkers and can predict the different results of aging, including mortality from cancer or Alzheimer’s.
2. Gene mutation
Do you know why there’s such a wide range of lifespans in mammals? Researchers from Spain and Great Britain have decided to study this question. Using the bioinformatics method, they’ve linked specific gene sets to long-living primate species. During the experiment, they discovered 25 gene mutations that take part in wound healing, blood coagulation, and the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Now they want to use these results to study the aging processes in people.
1. Aging cell removal
A group of scientists from the Mayo Clinic has found out that curing mice with senolytics, that remove old cells, can prevent cell damage, restore physical function, and prolong the lives of older mice. Meanwhile, last year, Unity Biotechnology launched the first clinical trials involving people to test this senolytic therapy. Their goal is to cure osteoarthritis of the knee joint, a disease that is tightly connected with cell aging in the joints.
Would you like to live forever? Are you ready to try any of these therapies?