I have covered anti-aging research on this blog a few times in the past: partly because aging reversal can often imply hair loss reversal; and partly because I also cover medical items of interest once a month. This week was one of the best ever in anti-aging research, especially for mice (and their fur). A number of people have posted links about some of the below developments in the last post (with special thanks to commentator “Netshed” who was especially prolific), and several people have also e-mailed me relevant links.
Senescent Cell Destruction Results in More Youthful Mice
For many years, scientists have known that the quantity of senescent cells (i.e., aged cells that have stopped dividing) correlates with aging in humans. More recently, research has suggested that senescent cells also damage other nearby healthy cells. So, not surprisingly, some scientists have conducted experiments to see if removing these old senescent cells (ideally, without damaging other normally functioning cells) reversed signs of aging and increased life expectancy. A few experiments in mice have suggested the answer to be in the affirmative (e.g., this one from 2011 and this one from 2015). There is now even a name (senolytics) for the class of drugs that can kill senescent cells.
This week, a groundbreaking study (led by Dr. Peter de Keizer) from the Netherlands found that a drug that they developed to kill senescent cells causes dramatic improvements in mice health and essentially reverses their aging. For our purposes, the most important thing was that these mice saw regrowth of healthy fur/hair! Key photos below (green arrows on rightmost column show hair regrowth in almost all mice after FOXO4 peptide ingestion):
The team behind this research plans clinical trials in humans in the near future. There are literally 100s of articles on this development, and various scientists from other countries have been quoted as saying that this development is potentially a huge breakthrough in anti-aging science. Two contrasting sources here and here.
Addendum 1: In case anyone got the wrong idea from my recent post on obesity perhaps benefiting scalp hair, this study is worth reading.
Addendum 2: Specially for Mr. “nasa_rs”: “JAK inhibition alleviates the cellular senescence-associated secretory phenotype and frailty in old age“.
David Sinclair Update
I have covered anti-aging Harvard-based Australian researcher Dr. David Sinclair (widely associated with resveratrol) once on this blog before here. In a new paper, him and his colleagues have found a way to protect a mouse’s DNA from damage via boosting NAD+ levels, and they are supposedly ready to test it in people. Dr. Sinclair in some ways is the Dr. George Cotsarelis or Dr. Ken Washenik of the anti-aging world. You decide what I mean by the above sentence.
Note that there is also a Dr. Rodney Sinclair who is a famous hair loss researcher that I have covered a few times on this blog. He is also from Australia.
Young Blood Without the Need for a Donor
In recent years, a number of scientists have been researching the fascinating subject of whether older people can be rejuvenated by the infusion of blood from the young! Billionaire Peter Thiel is especially interested. However, one major problem with this strategy for older non-wealthy people is that there might not be enough young healthy donors with the correct blood type willing to donate at reasonable prices. However, this week, scientists from Germany published research that could be a workaround for this problem. Just make old blood young again (in mice) via the addition of osteopontin protein and forget about the young. After all, “youth is wasted on the young”.