There has been a lot of speculation around anti-aging drugs and their effectiveness. Most of the drugs that proclaim to work have not yet provided adequate proof that they work. If one anti-aging medicine would beyond reasonable doubt prove that it actually worked, that would be a step towards revolutionizing myths and misconceptions surrounding the anti-aging theories.
Research by Dr. James Kirkland – clinical geriatrician at Robert and Arlene Kogod Center was held at Mayo Clinic on aging. This study reports successful drugs that may be available in the market in as little as two years. The doctor points out that nobody wants to live up to 130 years and feel like 130 but it would be great if you can live up to 90 and feel like 60 and now that is possible for animals.
Aging is associated with the onset of most conditions from Alzheimer’s to stroke. Although you can possibly find older people who are healthy and engaging in active sports, it is rare to find an old person suffering from just one chronic-age-related ailment because most of them are usually battling several issues at once.
Instead of attempting to treat one of these conditions, scientists are trying to come up with a mechanism that will combat the process responsible for triggering the host conditions. In comparison, this would be an antibiotic that can combat up to 25 infections. The doctor adds that treating the cause behind a condition would be better than treating or masking symptoms.
Dr. Kirkland says he is not pleased to recommend wheelchairs to his patients and is certain that disease-modifying mechanisms are vital. Senolytic drugs target zombie (senescent) cells that no longer have the ability to divide. The cells though alive, are not cleared by the body as normal. As the body ages, these cells keep accumulating and are rendered dangerous only after they reach critical threshold due to DNA damage and the inability to switch genes on and off.
The mice used in the clinical study were exposed to a combination of senolytic drugs containing dasatinib– normally used in Leukemia treatment, and quercetin present in red wine, green tea and apples. When some mice got senescent cells transplant, they showed significant signs of aging and related diseases.
Giving them senolytic drugs cleared senescent cells by triggering suicide and energy supply was shut down. Then the cells are replaced with healthy tissue; where tissue from diabetic patients responded to insulin after senolytic drugs were administered.
Before humans are exposed to senolytic drugs, they must test to see the effects and response on humans. Six clinical trials are already underway and a dozen more are to start in the near future. In one study featuring 14 old participants, suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, the results were scarred lungs and difficulty in breathing. In general most of the patients with the same condition did not show improvement.
Findings have motivated the team to conduct research on patients with nothing much to lose. If successful it will be able to know how senolytic drugs are of benefit to patients without major conditions.
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Gupta, S. (2004). U.S. Patent Application No. 10/248,753.