Five Exciting Breakthroughs in Life Extension Medicine

Written by Dr. Chris Smith, Updated on February 5th, 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes

As we learn more about the aging process, the more aware that we become of its complexities. Aging is the end result of a combination of factors, including genetics, disease, and the simple passage of time, which collect and break down the physiological function of the human body. As we solve these smaller problems, the benefits will accumulate and allow us to live longer than ever before!

Cellular Reprogramming to Reverse Glaucoma

Wear and Tear is one of the prime causes of aging. As we get older, our bodies wear down in many ways that are difficult or impossible to reverse without advanced medicine and technology. Luckily, there is an abundance of new research that suggests that it's possible to take certain cells and reprogram them in a way that restores their function and usefulness. In one recent instance, Dr. David Sinclair and his team were able to repair the damage done by glaucoma in mice, reversing the effects of the degenerative eye disease.

Regenerating Tissues to Repair Organ Damage

Organ failure is another major issue that greatly diminishes Lifespan and increases mortality risk. While transplants are effective at improving and extending the lives of the patient, the long-term goal is to repair existing organs so that full transplants aren't needed. Dr. Eric Lagasse of LyGenesis is working to solve the problem of organ repair—first the liver, then hopefully the pancreas, kidney, and thymus. Though this technology is still in the animal stages, Dr. Lagasse has shown that it is possible to generate new and healthy liver tissue in the lymph nodes of various animals, including mice and pigs. Human studies are expected to begin this year.

Rewiring the Brain

While Elon Musk is controversial, he's certainly willing to invest serious capital into new technological innovations. Neurodegenerative and cognitive defects can have a major impact on brain function. Having a healthy mind is as essential as having a healthy body when you get older. If we're going to reach 120 years old and go beyond it, we will have to make great strides in preserving neurological health.

The goal of Neuralink is to integrate advanced computer systems into brain function, allowing us more direct control over our surroundings by directly tapping into the brain. The first goal of Neuralink is to give paraplegics the ability to navigate a computer screen with their minds. If successful, this technology will inevitably lead to further breakthroughs that meld the mind with technology for improved neurological function.

Reversing Epigenetic Aging

In most people's minds, age is just an expression of how many days, months, and years that a person has been alive. Epigenetic Age refers to age as a mechanism of genetic expression. Our genes respond to the aging process in a specific way, which is predictable and can be measured.

Dr. Steve Horvath created a unique system capable of determining genetic age based on the activity of specific genes associated with becoming physiologically older. A recent study by Dr. Greg Fahy was the first of its kind to prove that Epigenetic Age could go backward, effectively adding years to the Lifespan. In the future, this medical knowledge could be used for advanced life extension.

Rewriting the Genetic Code to Prevent Disease

A huge proportion of diseases that negatively impact life quality and Lifespan are heavily influenced by genetics. Some people are particularly prone to certain conditions such as cancer or Alzheimer's because of the genetic code that they were born with. Advances in genetic reprogramming will help people live longer lives by editing out their predisposition to particular diseases. CRISPR technology is advancing quickly, allowing scientists to rewire the genetics of cells as they divide.

Another exciting advance is Prime Editing, which allows for beneficial genetic mutations to spread among existing cells, even if they are no longer capable of cell division. It's estimated that Prime Editing has the potential to eradicate up to 89% of disease as science advances.

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