Anti-Aging Drug

First Science-Backed Anti-Aging Drug to Be Tested in Humans Next Month

Ermolaev Alexander/

In Brief

Nicotinamide mononucleotide, which has been proven to reverse signs of aging in mice, including decline in eyesight, metabolism, and glucose intolerance, is set to be tested in ten human volunteers in Japan next month.

Genuine Anti-Aging

In 2013, researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) claimed to have formulated a drug that could help slow down the aging process using a compound called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). And indeed, the compound has been found to reverse signs of aging and extend the life expectancy…of mice.

To date, such methods haven’t been tested in humans; however, that’s all about to change.

Now, it will be tested on humans to see if the results will be as good and as safe. The trial will be conducted next month by Keio University in japan with ten healthy volunteers.

So how does it work? NMN stimulates the production of sirtuins, a class of proteins that grow weaker as we age. So the team is not talking about jars of cosmetic products that you slap on your face in an attempt to look younger. This drug reverses, not just external signs of aging, but internal symptoms as well, including decline in eyesight, metabolism, and glucose intolerance.

“We’ve confirmed a remarkable effect in the experiment using mice, but it’s not clear yet how much [the compound] will affect humans,” lead researcher Shin-ichiro Imai said. “We’ll carefully conduct the study, which I hope will result in important findings originating in Japan.”

Anti-aging products are a topic of interest in Japan, where 40% of the population will be over 65 years old by 2055.

Pharmaceutical Competition

Other anti-aging drugs are also in development, some of which were discovered as side effects of drugs originally intended for other purposes.

Last year, an experimental Alzheimer’s drug was found to have unexpected anti-aging effects. Anti-diabetes medication Metformin has also been recently found to have anti-aging properties (though the exact effectiveness of these treatments is still being researched).

To date, there are no proven ways to delay the human aging process. But NMN could be the first anti-aging drug to be allowed onto the market, if proven effective and safe. However, as is always the case, there is a long window between research and the development of new treatments. Regulatory approval is, in itself, generally a decade long process, and this doesn’t even take into consideration all the other clinical trials that are necessary prior to approval.

Still, the information will, at the very least, adds new information to our understanding of this drug and the process of aging.


70 is the new 60. In exceptional cases it’s the new 50

The Economist explains why 65-year-olds aren’t old

It is time to acknowledge a new stage, between working age and being old

IN MUCH of the rich world 65 still, marks the beginning of old age. Jobs end, subsidised bus travel begins and people start to be seen as a financial burden rather than an asset to the state. The larger the “65-plus” group becomes, compared with the population of working age, the more policymakers worry about the costs of their health care and pensions. By the end of the century the “old-age dependency ratio”, which tracks this relationship, will triple. Pessimists predict a “silver tsunami” that will bankrupt us all. But does it still make sense to call 65-year-olds “old”?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “old” as “having lived for a long time”. It illustrates the sense with an accompanying phrase, “the old man lay propped up on cushions”: the old person as one who has made all the useful contributions he can possibly make to society and is now at rest. When pensions were first introduced in Prussia, in the 1880s, this was probably a fair characterization for anyone over 65. Not many people lived beyond this age; those who did were rarely in good health. But today many 65-year-olds are healthy and active. Donald Trump (71) may be many things, but old he is not, nor for that matter is Vladimir Putin (64), who qualifies for his bus pass in October. Yet governments and employers still treat 65 as a cliff’s edge beyond which people can be regarded as “old”: inactive, and an economic burden.

This is wrong, for three reasons. First, what “old” means is relative. Life expectancy has gone through the roof since Otto von Bismarck pioneered the Prussian welfare state. Today the average 65-year-old German can expect to live another 20 years. So can most people in other rich countries, meaning old age now arguably kicks in later than before. Second, the term carries an underlying implication about health or at least fitness. But healthy-life expectancy has grown roughly in tandem with life expectancy; for many, 70 really is the new 60. Third, surveys show that the majority of younger over-65-year-olds increasingly want to stay actively involved in their communities and economies. Few want to retire in the literal sense of the word, which implies withdrawing from society as a whole. Many want to continue working but on different terms than before, asking for more flexibility and fewer hours.

All this shows that life stages are primarily social constructs. Words like “old” and “retired” signal to policymakers, as well as to old people themselves, how they ought to behave and be treated by governments, businesses and employers. In a three-stage model of life’s cycle, children learn, adults work and old people rest. As a result, most institutions still treat 65 as a cut-off point for social and economic usefulness. But ageing is a gradual process, which people experience in different ways. While some may feel old at 65, nowadays most do not. Acknowledging that there is a new stage of life between full-time work and old age would help everyone make the most of longer life spans.

Dig deeper: Our special report on the “new old” explains how to get to grips with longevity

More women are giving birth after the typically recommended age. We’ve recently seen singer Janet Jackson give birth at age 50, but now there’s a woman in the world that has given birth at 72 years old!

Who says you can’t have a baby after 40? More women are giving birth after the typically recommended age. We’ve recently seen singer Janet Jackson give birth at age 50, but now there’s a woman in the world that has given birth at 72 years old!

With the help of IVF, an Indian woman has given birth and has possibly become the oldest woman to do so, according to NTD Inspired. After three IVF treatments, the doting mum, Daljinder Kaur, successfully gave birth back in April 2016. Her baby was born at the National Fertility Centre in Haryana state, India.  What’s unique about the center is that they offer fertility treatment for women who are already decades well into their menopause.

The birth marks a new chapter for Kaur and her 79-year-old husband of 46 years, who have always wanted a child. They plan to raise him and give him “a proper education.” “I had faith in Almighty that I will have my own baby, and Waheguru (Sikh term for God) answered my prayers,” Kaur said.

Regaining Muscle Tone with advancing Age

UK Department of Health announces first genomic success stories.


Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and Life Sciences Minister, George Freeman, will be making some very special announcements today.

The announcement will also outline a package of measures designed to keep the UK at the forefront of new medical innovations. The Government is making its position clear – they are determined to introduce far more advanced technologies and modern approaches to medicine into day-to-day use within the NHS, capitalising on the UK’s growing life sciences sector. As there has been around £3.5 billion private investment in the UK life sciences sector in the three years since the Government’s Life Sciences Strategy was launched, now certainly seems like a good time to really make some progress that patients will feel.

With the plan being to make the UK the number on place in the world for using DNA sequencing as part of patient care, today’s announcement will include the following:

  • DNA sequencing breakthrough. Two families have been diagnosed with rare conditions for the first time as part of a project at Newcastle Hospitals and University that used an analysis of their genomes – the complete set of people’s genes – to properly understand the health issues they are experiencing. They will now receive effective, personalised treatment, as well as helping prevent future generations who share their DNA from suffering a life of uncertainty about similar symptoms.

100,000 genomes will be sequenced across the country, making the UK the world-leader in collecting and decoding human genomes to help scientists and doctors understand rare disease and design personalised treatments.

  • First drug fast-tracked to NHS patients under new scheme.The first drug to be approved through the Early Access to Medicine Scheme (EAMS) has been named as pembrolizumab, which is designed to treat patients with advanced melanoma. The treatment is considered a next generation drug in cancer care, stimulating the bodies immune system to fight the disease and is the first to have been made available under this scheme. The scheme has been set up to fast track access to promising unlicensed medicines to severely ill patients, meaning that this drug is available to be prescribed to patients much earlier than it would normally have been before the EAMS was established.
  • Green light for two proton beam therapy centres. The building of two state-of-art proton beam therapy cancer treatment centres at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester will start this summer. Varian Medical Systems has been named as the equipment supplier for both, with Bouygues UK as the building contractor for UCLH and Interserve Construction Ltd at the Christie.

The government has invested £250 million in the facilities to give NHS patients a highly-targeted type of radiotherapy that can treat hard-to-reach cancers without causing damage to surrounding tissue or other side effects. The centres are expected to open for patients in 2018.

  • Review into medical innovation and technology gets under way. Sir Hugh Taylor, Chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, has been named as the chair of a review to revolutionise and dramatically increase the speed at which 21st century innovations such as precision medicines, digital devices, apps, diagnostics and new therapeutic technologies get to patients and their families. Sir Hugh Taylor will be supported by Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University.

As part of the announcement, Jeremy Hunt and George Freeman will visit the project in Newcastle today to meet with scientists, doctors and the first patients benefiting from the genome scheme.


Jeremy Hunt is expected to say:

“The breakthroughs that we are announcing today shows the UK and the NHS leading the world in genomic research, and will help ensure that people in our country will get the most advanced treatments, all underpinned by a strong economy.

“The families that are receiving a first diagnosis have been given a fresh start, opening the door for new treatments for future generations with rare diseases.

“We want the NHS and UK to be the best place in the world to design and discover 21st century medicines, which are boosting the economy and creating jobs across the country. That’s why our investment in the 100,000 Genomes Project is so important.”

As part of the 100,000 Genomes Project pilot scheme, Newcastle University and the Newcastle NHS Hospitals Trust made the first two diagnoses:

  • Leslie Hedley, 57, has a life-long history of high blood pressure and protein in his urine, causing kidney failure. His first kidney transplant failed and he has received a second transplant. His father, brother and uncle all died of the same condition and his daughter Terri Parker has early signs of kidney damage. There was a concern that her daughter Katie could also be affected.

Whole genome sequencing revealed Mr Hedley’s kidney failure was caused by a particular genetic variant. His family is also being tested and their blood pressure can now be effectively controlled by drugs available on the NHS.

  • Two brothers, Alan and William Carpenter, aged 72 and 79, with muscle loss and weakness have been diagnosed with inherited nerve damage, known as peripheral neuropathy – this is the first time this particular genetic mutation has been identified. The brothers could be joining a treatment trial which, if successful, could prevent family members developing the same condition.


Professor Patrick Chinnery, Director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University said:

“Patients of Newcastle Hospitals are the first to receive a diagnosis through whole genome sequencing by Genomics England, leading to changes in the treatment the NHS can offer their families.”

Professor Mark Caulfield, Chief Scientist at Genomics England said:

“The 100,000 Genome Project are delighted to be returning our first diagnoses to families with rare disease from our whole genome sequencing. More will follow over the coming months.”


Life Sciences Minister George Freeman said:

“The explosion of biomedical innovation – whether in genomics, regenerative medicine or digital health is transforming 21st century medicine. But in recent years too many NHS patients have had to wait too long to access new treatments and slow uptake also threatens life science industry investment.

“Today’s announcements show that the UK is now leading in the global race to accelerate access to medical innovations which are key to our economic health.

“It’s working for our economy as well as NHS patients. The latest data shows that since we launched the UK Life Science Strategy we have attracted £3.5 billion of investment into the UK creating 11,000 jobs.”


On proton beam therapy, Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said:

“The NHS is rising to the challenge on cancer – dealing with 700,000 more admissions this parliament compared to the last, while at the same time survival rates are rising to record levels.

“We want NHS patients to have the very best care and treatment and today’s announcement brings us a crucial step closer to offering cancer patients proton beam therapy in the UK.”

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MUSCLES and Sinews



The toll that ageing takes on a body extends all the way down to the cellular level. But the damage accrued by cells in older muscles is especially severe because they do not regenerate easily and they become weaker as their mitochondria, which produce energy, diminish in vigour and number.

A study published this month in Cell Metabolism, however, suggests that certain sorts of workouts may undo some of what the years can do to our mitochondria.

Exercise is good for people, as everyone knows. But scientists have surprisingly little understanding of its cellular impacts and how those might vary by activity and the age of the exerciser.

So researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., recently conducted an experiment on the cells of 72 healthy but sedentary men and women who were 30 or younger or older than 64. After baseline measures were established for their aerobic fitness, their blood-sugar levels and the gene activity and mitochondrial health in their muscle cells, the volunteers were randomly assigned to a particular exercise regimen.

Some of them did vigorous weight training several times a week; some did brief interval training three times a week on stationary bicycles (pedaling hard for four minutes, resting for three and then repeating that sequence three more times); some rode stationary bikes at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a few times a week and lifted weights lightly on other days. A fourth group, the control, did not exercise.

After 12 weeks, the lab tests were repeated. In general, everyone experienced improvements in fitness and an ability to regulate blood sugar.

There were some unsurprising differences: The gains in muscle mass and strength were greater for those who exercised only with weights, while interval training had the strongest influence on endurance.

But more unexpected results were found in the biopsied muscle cells. Among the younger subjects who went through interval training, the activity levels had changed in 274 genes, compared with 170 genes for those who exercised more moderately and 74 for the weightlifters. Among the older cohort, almost 400 genes were working differently now, compared with 33 for the weightlifters and only 19 for the moderate exercisers.

Many of these affected genes, especially in the cells of the interval trainers, are believed to influence the ability of mitochondria to produce energy for muscle cells; the subjects who did the interval workouts showed increases in the number and health of their mitochondria — an impact that was particularly pronounced among the older cyclists.

It seems as if the decline in the cellular health of muscles associated with Aging was “corrected” with exercise, especially if it was intense, says Dr. Sreekumaran Nair, a professor of medicine and an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic and the study’s senior author. In fact, older people’s cells responded in some ways more robustly to intense exercise than the cells of the young did — suggesting, he says, that it is never too late to benefit from exercise.



Old age affects us all, especially women who want to become mothers. However, a new treatment may give women the opportunity to become pregnant even after they have begun experiencing symptoms of menopause.

As they age, women see a drop in fertility as their ovaries release fewer eggs each year. Around the age of 40 to 50, when the ovaries are out of eggs to release, women begin to notice the symptoms of menopause. Today delaying pregnancies to build careers has become common, making it difficult for some women to get pregnant when they are ready to have children. While therapies like egg freezing do exist, the risks and costs associated with these procedures might have women and their families looking at alternative solutions.

Women in Menopause are Pregnant Thanks to a Perplexing New Treatment
Credit: Shady Grove Fertility

Kostantinos Sfakianoudis from Genesis Athens Clinic in Greece may have what women are seeking. In an experimental study, Sfakianoudis’s team tried a new treatment on 180 women between the ages of 34 and 51, some of whom had damage in their uterine lining and others who exhibited menopausal or perimenopausal symptoms.

Sfakianoudis was able to help some women get relief from their symptoms. Additionally, two women got pregnant when utilizing the study treatment in conjunction with IVF, but one of the women had a miscarriage. The physicians involved, however, aren’t entirely sure of the science behind the process.


Sfakianoudis’s lab depended on the healing properties of blood. Researchers collected blood from the women, spun the samples in the centrifuge to isolated platelet-rich plasma, and then injected the collected plasma back into the women to repair their reproductive systems. The physicians injected the plasma directly into the ovaries and the uterus. While the results from this procedure are promising so far, there need to be rigorous trials before any conclusions are made.

4 Scientifically Proven Ways to Help Reverse Aging
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There are several theories as to why the experimental trial is producing results. One theory is that the fragmented plasma stimulates stem cells within the ovary to produce more eggs. However, scientists are unsure that these stem cells exist in the first place. Another theory is that the physical presence of a needle in the ovary might be altering the physical shape of the blood vessels, isolating egg follicles, and thereby having them release eggs.

While Sfakianoudis’s method has helped two women who were having trouble getting pregnant, most physicians are awaiting more information before performing this method on their patients. The research team hopes to run trials in both Greece and the United States.