Scientists Reverse Human Biological Age With Drug Cocktail

Monday, 09 September 2019 - 2:02PM
Medical Tech
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Monday, 09 September 2019 - 2:02PM
Scientists Reverse Human Biological Age With Drug Cocktail
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Old age may be dignified, but aging is anything but. The steady onslaught of time and gravity spares no one. There is no escaping it. It doesn't matter how aware you are of it, how much care you take in your daily life, or what cosmetic measures you take to deny it: eventually every system in your body will fail and you will cease to exist. Your consciousness will simply end, disappearing into vacuity, absence, nothingness. 


Now that you've had your daily memento mori reflection, we're happy to report that some scientists in Southern California (of course) seem to have found a way for you to dodge the reaper for a little bit longer with a cocktail of diabetes medications (dehydroepiandrosterone – DHEA – and metformin) and human growth hormone that turned back certain genetic markers for aging by 2.5 years. Their findings were published in the Anatomical Society journal Aging Cell. Although the results were as positive as they were unexpected, the researchers were quick to caution that the clinical sample size was exceptionally small and limited: the subjects were nine white males between the ages of 51 and 65. The study does not appear to have had a control group. 


The results came from the Thymus Regeneration, Immunorestoration, and Insulin Mitigation (TRIIM) clinical trial, designed to reverse human aging by exploring the possibility of regenerating tissue in the thymus gland, which helps helps develop T-cells, which are necessary for immune function. The thymus gland is only active through puberty, at which point it begins to shrink, eventually becoming just another blob of fat. Apparently, that doesn't have to be the case. Nature reports that in 7 of the 9 subjects, MRIs showed that thymus tissue has been successfully regenerated following administration of the drug cocktail. In addition to that, other biomarkers that express age actually reversed themselves. 


"I'd expected to see slowing down of the clock, but not a reversal," said UCLA geneticist Steve Horvath who conducted the epigenetic analysis, in an interview with Nature. "That felt kind of futuristic."


We will certainly be keeping our eyes open on where these findings lead.
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