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Doctors make the discovery that could change everything: This type of drug can extend life
Written by SOT.COM.AL 26 Shkurt 2023
Many found the elixir of youth in the diabetes drug metformin, which they took even though it was not prescribed.
Will we one day be able to go back 20 years and become younger? I don't see any reason why this shouldn't be possible. It's just a matter of when - believes Harvard Medical School professor and molecular geneticist Dr. David Sinclair. He and his team offer a biological age estimation service to clients. They show them how wasted their body is and then design a personalized program to revive their youth and vitality.
Until now, that program consisted mainly of changing lifestyles and reducing the intake of harmful substances, as well as spending less time in a bad environment, but he is a happy youth full of energy, as the lifestyle magazine Fortune Well writes , could also be reversed through drug use.
Many found the elixir of youth in the diabetes drug metformin, which they took even though it was not prescribed. One of them is Dr. Nil Barzilai, professor of medicine and genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He points out that people who consume this drug, regardless of whether they have diabetes or not, reduce the chance of being diagnosed with cancer by 30 percent and delay cognitive decline. He claimed that even those with diabetes who use this drug have a lower mortality rate than other diabetics. He backs up his claims with scientific studies and says, "We can focus on aging. We can delay it. And in some cases, we can stop it and reverse it. At one point we had hope, then a promise, now we we must move to make it happen."
Metformin is just one of the drugs used to slow down aging, using old and trying to invent new pharmaceutical preparations. Dozens of biotech experts want to be the first to slow this process by developing drugs called senolytics. In some diseases, they can clear toxic, old, and dysfunctional cells from the body, leaving only new, healthy, well-functioning cells.
Senolytics act on old cells that have not died, but instead have remained in our body and have begun to release toxic substances that can damage healthy cells. As a person ages, the body becomes less efficient at cleaning up senescent cells, and there are more and more of them and they can cause chronic diseases, such as macular degeneration - the main reason for vision loss.
Unity Biotechnology is developing senolite, UBX1325, to target diabetic macular edema and age-related macular degeneration. Preliminary findings show that the drug is successful in helping restore lost vision.
- It takes about 8 weeks to start, and after 24 weeks you can see that the tissue is dramatically remodeled. We have had patients who have had great improvement in the quality of vision and improvements in the structure of the retina - said Dr. Anirvan Ghosh, CEO of Unity.
That pharmaceutical company, they say, doesn't want to stop with the development of just one senolytic, but their goal is to develop new ones one after another until they discover a drug that can clean out all old cells, not just one type. that is. behind some diseases.
Accumulated senescent cells in the body also affect the surface of the DNA, the epigenome—the landscape of proteins and chemicals that sit on top of the genetic material. They change the DNA, but also the way it works, so genes that have been working perfectly at a given moment will be turned off, slowed down, sped up or stopped. Any disorder can cause disease or signs and symptoms of aging.
Reversing epigenetic changes is the goal of the Tally Health team led by Harvard professor Dr. David Sinclair. There they are developing a drug that would slow down or completely reverse the biological clock and make genes behave as if they were young again. Experiments are carried out on mice in which they crush the optic nerves and blind them. Eye injury causes epigenetic changes similar to those that occur in old age. Researchers then inject the genes with factors that can reprogram them and make them behave as if they were young again.
So far, they have found that this treatment successfully induced age-related changes in the mice's eyes, saved their retinal cells and led to the regeneration of neurons. Sinclair and colleagues also corrected similar epigenetic changes associated with aging in muscle and kidney tissue and thus managed to extend the lifespan of the mice.
And while the effectiveness of Tally Health's anti-aging drug is still being tested, there may already be some on pharmacy shelves that can slow down the biological phenomenon. In 1991, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor, which prevents organ recipients from rejecting the new organ. By turning off the mTOR protein, immune system cells that might attack the donated organ are prevented from multiplying.
As we age, mTOR can be active all the time, allowing uncontrolled cell growth that can lead to cancer. When the elderly consume rapamycin, their already damaged immune systems seem to start working better.
– There are studies that show that when you renew your immune system, you make many other organ systems work better. But we need high-quality, placebo-controlled clinical trials to discover the dose, which conditions it improves and who responds best - says Joan Mannick, director of Tornado Therapeutics.
Her company set out to conduct this research by studying the effect on aging of the entire portfolio of rapamycin derivatives. If he can extend the lifespan of every plant and animal, Mannick sees no reason why he can't extend the lifespan of humans as well.
- I think in the next five to ten years the FDA will approve the first drug for the biology of aging. It could be a new rapamycin that will have a positive effect on the condition associated with it and will become our first step towards much wider medical progress and, ultimately, slowing down aging - concludes Joan Mannick for Fortune Well.