July 16, 2024

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I’ve been practicing medicine at a renowned institution for 40 years. Society isn’t ready for us to reverse the aging process across an entire population

2 min read

Within the past couple of years, in shots heard literally and figuratively around the developed world, a new class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists, so-called “weight loss drugs,” captivated the world to such an extent that their primary manufacturers, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, can’t keep up with the demand for them. People who were morbidly obese or just slightly overweight suddenly saw the possibility that they could have the svelte body image they wanted. The market for these drugs is expected to reach $100 billion in 2023, after manufacturing finally catches up. Senator Bernie Sanders, no fan of pharmaceutical lobbyists, recently said that demand for these drugs could eventually bankrupt the Medicare program.

If the scourge of obesity—which affects more than two in five adults in the U.S.—can be reversed so suddenly by a new development in medical science, it takes no great stretch of the imagination to contemplate the day when another ubiquitous “affliction” can be similarly addressed: aging. Already, research on the primary drivers of aging abounds. Stem cell and proteostatic dysfunction, telomere erosion, DNA damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation…all are the subjects of numerous studies, and the work advances each day. In just one example, researchers from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York have recently discovered that T cells in the body can be reprogrammed to slow down and even reverse aging. Gene splicing could also play a role in the future.

As a physician, I believe there may be a biological mechanism that triggers the onset of aging and that with enough research, we will discover what it is. It could be something as simple as blocking a protein that turns on the aging clock and at the same time facilitates cellular repair or lessens the chance for mutation, as I postulate in my novel The Plasma Cell Report. Such enzymes could be blocked with either naturally occurring antibodies arising from a disease…

Joel Geiderman

2024-06-20 13:36:40

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