Do you wish there were ways of preventing age-related diseases, enabling you and your loved ones to live longer, healthier lives?
Each year since 2018, Lifespan.io has held a fascinating conference called Ending Age-Related Diseases (EARD). World-class scientists discuss recent advances in aging-related research. Before we cover the most interesting topics, let’s give thought to what is meant by age-related diseases.
The definition of disease is an abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function of all or part of an organism, and that is not due to external injury.
In general, there are four main types of disease: infectious diseases, deficiency diseases, hereditary diseases and physiological diseases. Age-related diseases trigger physiological malfunction or failure because cellular structures have changed over time. These lead to the conditions and symptoms profiled in What Causes Aging?. The research at EARD seeks to reduce, delay and prevent both programmed and damage-related aging from happening to us.
Here are five of the most interesting speakers, targets and approaches for preventing age-related diseases.
World-Class Scientists Preventing Age-Related Diseases
Andrei Gudkov, Cleveland BioLabs (NASDAQ: CBLI), Genome Protection, Vaika, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Genomic instability and DNA damage, accompanied by debilitating chronic inflammation, are common hallmarks of aging.
- Nearly half of the mammalian genome is considered archaic or junk DNA, left over from our 65 million years of evolution.
- As we age and are impacted by environmental factors, we gradually lose the ability to prevent damaged junk DNA from impacting our health. In scientific language, this is called, “Epigenetic derepression of endogenous retroelements.”
- Cleveland BioLabs and Genome Protection use deimmunized TLR5 agonists to initiate immune responses which prevent and repair damage to DNA. They are exploring treatments for cancer, radiation exposure, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and immunosenescence.
- Vaika is a study at Cornell seeking to prolong the life and healthspan of 100 dogs by blocking activation of genomic instability within the retrobiome (junk DNA).
Aubrey de Grey, SENS Research Foundation
- The aging immune system gradually loses its ability to prevent diseases.
- It is possible to reduce the aging of immune system cells by reversing the loss of thymus cells and by eliminating senescent cells.
- There was some success in a 9 person TRIIM trial using personalized doses of recombinant human growth hormone (somatropin), DHEA and Metformin. Another emerging approach is to train the immune system to remove senescent cells.
- Companies seeking to rejuvenate the thymus and immune system include:
Hanadie Yousef, Juvena Therapeutics
- Muscle tissue and skeletal aging, neurodegeneration, injury, atrophy and sarcopenia are debilitating life conditions.
- Juvena has created a drug discovery platform to analyze which human embryonic STEM cell proteins should be provided for safely healing patients. Three top candidates have been designed to activate STEM cell pathways and muscle formation.
- The right proteins are identified using unbiased machine-learning to rank-order and select candidates based on mechanisms of action and pathways tied to aging.
- Robotic filtering selects the right mix of cells for injection from their therapeutic protein library.
- Daily injections are delivered for 2 weeks. They are working on bi-weekly and monthly formulations, seeking to determine the duration of efficacy.
Irina and Michael Conboy, Conboy Laboratory for Engineering Longevity at UC-Berkeley, IMYu
- Age associated reduction in quality of life is strongly influenced by dysregulation of cell signals present in the blood.
- Proper regulation of blood cell signaling factors can restore youthful cognition, muscle repair, liver function and other measures of health.
- Regular cleansing of blood plasma is important. Further details on the Conboy Laboratory work can be found in our article on Rejuvenation and Regeneration.
Matthew “Oki” O’Connell, Underdog Therapeutics
- Targeting drugs to alleviate atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the arteries and the underlying cause of about 50% of all deaths in westernized society.
- Engineering new cyclodextrins to capture and remove 7-Ketocholesterol (7-KC).
- 7-KC is the most toxic molecule in the human body. No known biological function.
- Disrupts membrane function, both outer and inner.
- Forms when cholesterol bumps into oxygen free radicals becoming 7-KC.
- Unable to be expelled by cells and tissues. Macrophages eat it but then become foam cells contributing to arterial blocking.
- Once 7-KC is removed, macrophages can then heal arterial lesions.
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