Is this the world's first anti-ageing drug? Scientists have made people younger for the first time, or so they think. Nine men took a year-long drug regime that appeared to reverse the ageing process, leaving them one-and-a-half years younger – biologically – than when they started. The clinical trial was the first to investigate the possibility that a drug might be able to reverse the biological signs of ageing, increasing lifespan. However, the results are limited by the fact that this was a feasibility study without a placebo.
Women who have given birth seem to have hallmarks of faster biological ageing than those that don't – and the difference is equivalent to around 11 years. That's what Anna Pollack and her colleagues at George Mason University, Virginia, found when they looked at one measure of biological ageing. The team looked at the length of telomeres – chunks of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes.
The global population of individuals over the age of 65 is growing at an unprecedented rate and is expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2050. Most older individuals are affected by multiple chronic diseases, leading to complex drug treatments and increased risk of physical and cognitive disability. Improving or preserving the health and quality of life of these individuals is challenging due to a lack of well‐established clinical guidelines. Physicians are often forced to engage in cycles of "trial and error" that are centered on palliative treatment of symptoms rather than the root cause, often resulting in dubious outcomes. Recently, geroscience challenged this view, proposing that the underlying biological mechanisms of aging are central to the global increase in susceptibility to disease and disability that occurs with aging.