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Is There a Cure for Aging?
Being young and beautiful is a blessing – and often one we don’t appreciate until we’re old and grey. It’s a fact of life that our bodies and minds change over time. Hair turns grey, our skin wrinkles and bodies weaken as the years pass, but that doesn’t make everyone over the age of 50 is doomed.
Scientists have long been interested in the aging process, with billions of dollars dedicated to the research and development of anti-aging products. So far, the results have been mostly cosmetic: creams that reduce wrinkles, prevent wrinkles, conceal wrinkles. Are a few extra lines really the greatest problem we have from aging?
Recently scientists have started to view aging as a disease. They’re studying how aging leads to cellular breakdowns and the weakening of DNA chains. The theory is that aging effects the body the same way a viral infection does, by destroy or compromising cells. By taking a microscopic look at this process, researchers have developed senolytics a whole class of drugs dedicated to reversing and stopping cell damage caused by aging.
Scripps Institute scientists discovered that two drugs used to treat cancer also attack parts of the aging process. Mice who were given the drugs displayed increased stamina, reduced osteoporosis and frailty, and a longer lifespan. The improvements were measurable in five days and lasted seven months. There’s only one problem with the drug treatments: They’re not sustainable. The drugs only destroy damaged or effected cells, they don’t replace or renew them. So while the drugs could provide a temporary cure, they won’t offer eternal youth – yet.
Until scientists find a way to “cure” aging, seniors will have to take more traditional steps to enjoy their later years. To reduce frailty the old fashioned way, stay active. Walking, gardening, playing with grandchildren, practicing yoga, or any other form of low impact exercise are excellent ways to improve muscle tone, increase balance and fortify bones. Changing your diet may also help improve your mental and physical wellbeing.
At Capital City Nurses, we know everyone prefers youth and beauty, but we don’t see aging as a disease. It’s a natural part of life and that should be enjoyed and celebrated. Take steps toward maintaining your health and you won’t need to wait for scientists to develop a miracle drug.