A long life seems attractive, but as you age, we become carriers of entire bouquets of diseases and burdens the later stages of life, which prevent us to enjoy our old age. Science is trying to create ways of extending healthy life is not just life.
Although modern medicine and a healthy life allows us to live much longer than our ancestors, in many cases, people literally have to cling to every extra year. While a healthy part of our life is prolonged, people remain healthy and active well into old age, the rate of preservation of health is not growing as fast as life expectancy in General.
Eternal life: a curse or a gift?
The fact that people live in old age longer and longer, is cause for concern not only to individuals, but to governments who have no resources to maintain the aging population. Problem trying to solve very different way from the obvious — such as increasing physical activity and reducing diet to more exotic, which mainly tested only in animals, but which ultimately will help us to be young again.
“We will not be able to reverse the aging,” write the authors of the work published in Nature. “But we expect to mitigate this process and significantly improve its effects.”
Although a fundamental limit to how long people can live is always a lively debate — the authors note that those who live to be 100 years old, tend to have a later appearance of signs of ageing that points to the possibility of postponing aging.
Moreover, recent studies show that the human lifespan is inherited only 12-25%, so most is the role of environmental factors and lifestyle, many of which we can change. For the treatment of certain States have already used special diets, calorie restriction, exercise and cognitive training.
However, the authors notice that people respond to this kind of intervention always different. So, for us it is an important step to determine how various biomarkers like blood pressure, insulin levels, breathing, balance and consciousness can indicate the risk of certain problems people have and how best to cope with them before they unfold in full force.
Obviously, there are simple points to perform — do not smoke, drink less, regular exercise. Another promising approach is fasting that gives good results in both animals and humans. But although lifestyle changes can work wonders with individuals, it is often inefficient in General, because people are very difficult to adhere to certain rules.
Medications may become a more common approach to solving the problem, and many adults are already taking different medications for the continuation of life, like a pill for blood pressure and cholesterol. The search for new drugs specifically to prolong life may be difficult due to the duration of clinical trials, but many of the existing drugs designed to combat age-related diseases, has shown broad anti-aging effect in animals.
In fact, as the authors note, one of the greatest achievements in studies of ageing is that most interventions, whether they focus on life, or pharmacology, have been effective to prevent more than one age-related diseases at a time.
There are also more radical approaches to prevent aging, which are just beginning to enter the mainstream. Senescent (aging) cells that cease to divide and cause inflammatory processes in the environment, long-term participant in the aging process. A recent study showed that the use of pairs of drugs for their destruction, have increased the lifespan of old mice by 36%.
Therapy designed to reprogram epigenetic markers responsible for the regulation of the genome and determining how active certain genes are also able to increase the lifespan of mice by 30% and even to rejuvenate some of their fabrics.
There are tantalizing similar results in favor of the transplantation of the microbiome is a unique community of microbes that lives in every human being — or blood plasma of healthy young people, which also helped in the rejuvenation of older animals.
Elevian startup has attracted millions of dollars to study whether a specific protein in young blood to rejuvenate, despite disagreement as to how honest the science behind this idea.
The translation of treatment from laboratory animals to humans is always made difficult by various factors. How many of these methods will be really effective for people and many people prefer to use them remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: aging can be canceled and it is worth fighting for. The elixir of eternal youth may not be as far away as it seems.
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