life extension discoveries wrapip

The life extension and medical discoveries of January (Monthly article summary)

In brief: An executive summary of the January reports on longevity science, life-extension treatments, telomeres, Alzheimer’s disease and various medical advances. [This article first appeared on the website Author: Brady Hartman. ]

It’s been a fruitful month, with advancements in life-extension treatments, longevity science, telomere dynamics, dementia and various medical advances.

Here’s a look back at the 23 reports of the past month.

Life-Extension Treatments

The first-ever human clinical trial of the NAD-boosting supplement Basis reported results. Learn what the researchers discovered about the health benefits of this supplement containing NR and pterostilbene.

Researchers report promising pterostilbene and NR clinical trial results

A company announces yet another trial testing young blood – old blood exchange. Also called parabiosis, the technique involves transferring young blood to older patients, with the hope of rejuvenating their bodies. This article compares the merits of the various approaches to parabiosis.

Can the blood of teens rejuvenate our bodies? This new trial aims to find out.

Medical Advances

Scientists developed a novel technique to treat cancer – weaponized killer T cells. They genetically engineer the body’s T cells to more efficiently weaponize them to search out and destroy tumors. Moreover, the approach seems to be working, with good results so far in a clinical trial.

Learn more: Revolutionary gene edited T cell therapy to treat lymphoma shows promise and little toxicity

Diabetes is a disease of aging and the risk of getting this disease increases with each birthday. Moreover, we are confronted with the depressing announcement by the CDC that 40% of Americans walking around today will develop type 2 diabetes. Learn what scientists have discovered in diabetes and prediabetes treatments.

Learn more: Breakthroughs in Diabetes and Prediabetes Treatments (Our Best of 2017)

Throughout 2017, researchers were working on revolutionary medical advances, including lab-grown organs, cancer-seeking bacteriobots, soft robots that help an ailing heart to beat, weaponized killer T-cells, advancements in CRISPR gene editing. Moreover, the emerging stories included plans for radical life extension and the growing importance of the microbiome in human health.

Learn more: 8 Top Videos On the Future of Medicine (Best of 2017)

These scientists have a novel technique for treating lymphoma, a type of cancer. They genetically modify the body’s T cells with a stealth virus to search out and destroy tumors.

Learn more: Revolutionary stealth virus holds promise for cancer therapy

A new report by the AHA/ASA provides good news for warding off stroke and hardening of the arteries, two diseases of aging. Combining cholesterol-lowering medications with blood-pressure-lowering drugs with reduced first-time strokes by 44%, according to the report.

Learn more: Promising Drug Combo Nearly Halves Stroke Risk Says New Report

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Researchers have discovered many of the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other forms of dementia. Scientists are looking to apply that knowledge to an effective treatment to reduce or delay the incidence of these neurodegenerative diseases and slow their course.  We are confronted with the depressing fact that most people over the age of 85 have clinical grade dementia. The incidence of Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after the age of 60. Therefore, before extending our lifespans,  scientists must develop effective interventions. For example, delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s by five years could cut its prevalence in half. These three articles reveal the discoveries in Alzheimer’s made during the past month.


Telomeres play a role in the chronic diseases of aging and set a limit on human lifespan reports the authors of a new study. The first article provides an executive summary of telomerase and telomere length and the next three articles are a three-part series on an extensive new study on the role of telomere length in the chronic diseases of aging. Part 1 reports on the use telomere length as biomarkers of aging. Part 2  reports on the wrenching choice between cancer and degenerative diseases such as respiratory diseases and dementia. Part 3 reports on the role of telomere length in chronic diseases and aging.

Geroscience is a specialized branch of medicine that wants to extend our lifespans and eliminate chronic diseases. This four-article series shows you how they plan to do it.

Advancements in Longevity Science

The month of January saw many improvements in furthering our scientific knowledge of aging and how to slow it down. These five articles show you more details about these advancements.

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Cover photo: Researcher reviewing specimens. Image courtesy of NIA/NIH.


Diagnosis, Treatment, and Advice:  This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and is not a substitute for qualified, professional medical advice.  The information and opinions provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Consult a qualified and licensed physician for the diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Experimental therapies carry a much higher risk than FDA-approved ones. Call 911, or an equivalent emergency hotline number, for all medical emergencies. As well, consult a licensed, qualified physician before changing your diet, supplement or exercise programs.
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