Anti-Aging Treatments: Do They Work?
In contrast, number three interferes with the release of growth hormone. Similar treatments are also used by humans, although their effectiveness on aging has not been fully proven.
To evaluate in mice, scientists have developed a new answer to the question of how to measure aging. But the problem is that rats, like many other creatures, do not die from old age in general, but from very specific diseases.
So if you were to look at the entire genome for factors that make mice live longer, you’d want to find many genes that suppress tumor growth – and not necessarily genes that play a common role in the process. aging process.
The ability to treat aging is not just a fantasy
Therefore, for their study, the scientists chose a method that does not emphasize longevity but focuses on a comprehensive investigation of age-related changes in a wide range of functions. body.
The results of a physical examination are a summary of hundreds of factors that cover many areas of physiology – an accurate description of the state of the animal at the time of examination. That’s exactly the approach the researchers took to animals given one of three treatments that are thought to slow down the aging process.
Across different life stages, they are analyzed and compared: How much does each parameter typically change at a given life stage? And, did the parameters change more slowly when the mice were given one of the three treatments? This study design helps to determine precisely whether it is possible to slow down the natural aging process and, with it, the decline of important physiological functions.
The results were clear: Although the researchers were able to identify individual cases in which older mice looked younger, it was clear that the effect was not due to slowing down the aging process but to other factors. factors unrelated to age.
The fact that the treatment worked in young mice – before the appearance of age-dependent changes in health measures – demonstrates that these are compensatory effects, increasing general health promotion, not targeting the aging mechanism.
The researchers have now set their sights on the next: They want to investigate other treatments that experts believe can slow down the aging process. The new study method, the researchers hope, will provide a better picture of possible treatments and their effectiveness.