Dr Mercola Interviews Dr Villeponteau the Formulator of Stem Cell 100

Dr Bryant Villeponteau the formulator of Stem Cell 100 and other Life Code nutraceuticals was recently interviewed by Dr Mercola who owns the largest health web site on the internet. Dr. Villeponteau is also the author of Decoding Longevity a new book which will be released during December. He is a leading researcher in novel anti-aging therapies involving stem cells an area in which he has been a pioneer for over three decades.

Stem cell technology could have a dramatic influence on our ability to live longer and replace some of our failing parts, which is the inevitable result of the aging process. With an interest in aging and longevity, Dr. Villeponteau started out by studying developmental biology. If we could understand development, we could understand aging, he says. Later, his interest turned more toward the gene regulation aspects. While working as a professor at the University of Michigan at the Institute of Gerontology, he received, and accepted, a job offer from Geron Corporation a Bay Area startup, in the early 90s.

They were working on telomerase, which I was pretty excited about at the time. I joined them when they first started, he says. We had an all-out engagement there to clone human telomerase. It had been cloned in other animals but not in humans or mammals.

If you were to unravel the tip of the chromosome, a telomere is about 15,000 bases long at the moment of conception in the womb. Immediately after conception, your cells begin to divide, and your telomeres begin to shorten each time the cell divides. Once your telomeres have been reduced to about 5,000 bases, you essentially die of old age.

What you have to know about telomerase is that it’s only on in embryonic cells. In adult cells, it’s totally, for the most part, turned off, with the exception of adult stem cells, Dr. Villeponteau explains. Adult stem cells have some telomerase not full and not like the embryonic stem cells, but they do have some telomerase activity.

Most of the research currently being done, both in academia and industrial labs, revolves around either embryonic stem cells, or a second type called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). Dr. Villeponteau, on the other hand, believes adult stem cells are the easiest and most efficient way to achieve results.

That said, adult stem cells do have their drawbacks. While they’re your own cells, which eliminates the problem of immune-related issues, there’s just not enough of them. Especially as you get older, there are fewer and fewer adult stem cells, and they tend to become increasingly dysfunctional too. Yet another hurdle is that they don’t form the tissues that they need to form…

To solve such issues, Dr. Villeponteau has created a company with the technology and expertise to amplify your adult stem cells a million-fold or more, while still maintaining their ability to differentiate all the different cell types, and without causing the cells to age. Again, it is the adult stem cells ability to potentially cure, or at least ameliorate, many of our age-related diseases by regenerating tissue that makes this field so exciting.

Dr Villeponteau believes you can add many years, likely decades, to your life simply by eating right, exercising (which promotes the production of muscle stem cells, by the way) and living an otherwise clean and healthy lifestyle. Extreme life extension, on the other hand, is a different matter.

His book, Decoding Longevity, covers preventive strategies to prolong your life, mainly diet, exercise, and supplements. A portion of the book also covers future developments in the area of more radical life extension, such as stem cell technology.

If you would like to read the entire interview here is a link to the text version:

Click here for more information about Stem Cell 100

Transcript of Interview With Dr. Bryant Villeponteau by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Aging Reversed / ABC News

Now researchers have found a way not just to stop, but, reverse the aging process. The key is something called a telomere. We all have them. They are the tips or caps of your chromosomes. They are long and stable in young adults, but, as we age they become shorter, damaged and frayed. When they stop working we start aging and experience things like hearing and memory loss.

In a recent study published in the peer reviewed journal Nature scientists took mice that were prematurely aged to the equivalent of 80-year-old humans, added an enzyme and essentially turned their telomeres back on. After the treatment they were the physiological equivalent of young adults. You can see the before and after pictures in the videos above. Brain function improved, their fertility was restored it was a remarkable reversal of the aging process. In the top video the untreated mouse shows bad skin, gray hair and it is balding. The mouse with it’s telomeres switched back on has a dark coat color, the hair is restored and the coat has a nice healthy sheen to it. Even more dramatic is the change in brain size. Before treatment the aged mice had 75% of a normal size brain like a patient with severe Alzheimers. After the telomeres were reactivated the brain returned to normal size. As for humans while it is just one factor scientists say the longer the telomeres the better the chances for a more graceful aging.

The formal study Telomere dysfunction induces metabolic and mitochondrial compromise was published in Nature.

Additional information published by Harvard can be found in the following articles.

Scientists Find Root Molecular Cause of Declining Health in the Old

Decoding Immortality – Smithsonian Channel Video about the Discovery of Telomerase

While scientists are not yet able to accomplish the same results in humans we believe we have developed a nutraceutical to help prolong youth and possibly extend life until age reversal therapy for humans becomes available.

Stem Cells Secret’s of 115 Year Old Woman

New evidence that adult stem cells are critical to human aging has recently been published on a study done on a super-centenarian woman that lived to be 115 years. At death, her circulating stem cell pool had declined to just two active stem cells from stem cell counts that are typically more than a thousand in younger adults. Super-centenarians have survived all the normal diseases that kill 99.9% of us before 100 years of age, so it has been a mystery as to what actually kills these hardy individuals. This recent data suggest that stem cell decline may be the main contributor to aging. If so, stabilizing stem cells may be the best thing one can do to slow your rate of aging.

There are many theories of aging that have been proposed. For example, damage to cells and tissues from oxidative stress has been one of the most popular fundamental theories of aging for more than half a century. Yet antioxidant substances or genes that code antioxidant enzymes have proven largely ineffective in slowing aging when tested in model animals. Thus, interest by scientists has shifted to other hypotheses that might provide a better explanation for the slow declines in function with age.

Stem cells provide one such promising mechanism of aging. Of course, we all know that babies are young and vigorous, independent of the age of their parents. This is because adults have embryonic stem cells that can generate young new cells needed to form a complete young baby. Indeed, these embryonic stem cells are the product of continuously evolving stem cell populations that go back to the beginning of life on earth over 3.5 billion years ago!

In adults, the mostly immortal embryonic stem cells give rise to mortal adult stem cells in all the tissues of the body. These adult stem cells can regenerate your cells and tissues as they wear out and need replacement. Unfortunate, adult stem cells also age, which leads to fewer cells and/or loss of function in cell replacement. As functional stem cells decline, skin and organs decline with age.

Blood from world’s oldest woman suggests life limit

Time Magazine: Long-Life Secrets From The 115-Year-Old Woman

Somatic mutations found in the healthy blood compartment of a 115-yr-old woman demonstrate oligoclonal hematopoiesis

The somatic mutation burden in healthy white blood cells (WBCs) is not well known. Based on deep whole-genome sequencing, we estimate that approximately 450 somatic mutations accumulated in the nonrepetitive genome within the healthy blood compartment of a 115-yr-old woman. The detected mutations appear to have been harmless passenger mutations: They were enriched in noncoding, AT-rich regions that are not evolutionarily conserved, and they were depleted for genomic elements where mutations might have favorable or adverse effects on cellular fitness, such as regions with actively transcribed genes. The distribution of variant allele frequencies of these mutations suggests that the majority of the peripheral white blood cells were offspring of two related hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) clones. Moreover, telomere lengths of the WBCs were significantly shorter than telomere lengths from other tissues. Together, this suggests that the finite lifespan of HSCs, rather than somatic mutation effects, may lead to hematopoietic clonal evolution at extreme ages.

Three Pillars of Mental Health

A University of Otago, New Zealand, study has found that three pillars of health which are exercising, quality of sleep and eating raw vegetables and fruit, promotes better health mentally and overall well-being feeling in younger adults. And the research found that the strongest predictor was better quality of sleep than sleep quantity.

The study was a survey of more than 1,100 young adults that were from the United States and New Zealand about their physical activity, diet, sleep and mental health. The research found that the quality of sleep rather than the quantity of sleep was the strongest predictor of well-being and mental health.

This was surprising to the team because the recommendations of sleep usually focus on quantity rather than quality. And while the team found that both not enough sleep (8 hours or less) and sleeping too much (12 hours or more) were linked to symptoms of higher depression and lower well-being, the quality of sleep significantly outranked quantity in predicting well-being and mental health.

The findings suggest that sleep quality should be promoted along with sleep quantity of tools for helping young adults improve their mental health and well-being. Young adults that slept 9.7 hours per night were the least affected with depressive symptoms and feelings of well-being were the highest for those who slept at least 8 hours each night.

In addition to quality of sleep, exercising and eating raw vegetables and fruits (in that order), were three modifiable behaviors which correlated to better mental health and well-being in young adults. Well-being was the highest for young adults who consumed 4.8 servings of raw vegetables and fruit per day. Those who consumed less than two servings per day and more than 8 servings per day, reported lower feelings of well-being.

All three pillars, sleep, physical activity and a healthy diet, could contribute to promoting optimal well-being among young adults. This is a population where the prevalence of mental disorders is high and well-being is unfortunately suboptimal.

The team did not manipulate sleep, activity or diet to test their changes on mental health and well-being. Other research has already done that and has found positive benefits. The current research suggests that a whole health intervention which prioritizes quality sleep, exercise and a diet including raw fruits and vegetables together, could be the next logical step in this research. The team’s study showed that they are all important for predicting which young adults are flourishing versus suffering.

To view the original scientific study click below

The Big Three Health Behaviors and Mental Health and Well-Being Among Young Adults: A Cross-Sectional Investigation of Sleep, Exercise, and Diet.

Plastics Threaten Human Health

Plastics can have and impart to a human a variety of dangerous chemicals including endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that pose a threat to human health. A new report has reported the dangerous health effects of contamination that is widespread from the EDCs in plastics.

The report from the Endocrine Society and the Int’l Pollutants Elimination Network has shown that EDCs such as chemicals that will disturb the body’s hormonal systems and may lead to diabetes, cancer, reproduction problems and also neurological problems of fetuses and also children. This report entails a preponderance of evidence that supports links between chemical toxic additives in plastics and certain negative impacts of health to the endocrine system.

Estimates that are conservative at this time point to more than 1,000 chemicals that are manufactured are being used today which are EDCs. Known EDCs that come from plastics and that are dangerous to a humans health such as bisphenol A and other chemicals, phthalates, flame retardants, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, UV stabilizers, dioxins, and metals that are toxic such as cadmium and lead.

Plastics which contain EDCs are used extensively in construction, packaging and production of food, flooring, children’s toys, cookware, furniture, health care, home electronics, cosmetics, automobiles and textiles.

Some findings in the report are:
144 chemicals or groups that can be detrimental to health which are actively put in plastics use enablers that vary from flame retardants, UV-stabilizers, antimicrobial activity to colorants, plasticizers and solvents.

The exposure of EDC is a problem all over the world. Testing of samples from humans show consistency of problems in nearly almost all people who may have EDCs in their body

Bioplastics/biodegradable plastics which are promoted as more ecological than plastics, contain similar chemical additives as do conventional plastics and also have endocrine disrupting effects.

Microplastics have chemical additions which have ability to come from the microplastic and everyone is exposed. They also can accumulate and bind chemicals that are toxic from the environment such as sediment and seawater, which function as carriers for compounds that are toxic.

Exposure can happen during the entire life span of plastic products – from the manufacturing process to consumer contact, water management and disposal, and recycling.

A large amount of plastics that are used every day inside our homes/work expose us to harmful contaniments of EDC’s. Actions are needed globally to keep human health protected and the threat to the environment.

The need for effective public policy to protect human health from EDCs in plastics is even more urgent given the current amounts of plastic production which are projected to increase roughly by 30-36% within the next 6 years. This projection will greatly promote EDC exposure and increase worldwide rates of endocrine diseases. EDCs in plastics are a health issue internationally that is acutely felt in the south worldwide where plastic waste that is toxic ships from more wealthy countries comprise communities. Furthermore, endocrine disrupting chemical exposure is not only a global problem, but it poses a serious threat to future generations. Animal research as shown that DNA modifications from EDCs can have repercussions across generations.

To view the original scientific study click below

Plastics, EDCs & Health: Authoritative Guide.

Heart Health and How Fast a Person Climbs Stairs

According to new research at University Hospital A Coruna Spain, the time required to climb four flights of stairs provides an excellent indicator of heart health. Cardiologists use stair climbing in some physical exams for that purpose.

The study team set out to examine the relationship between a daily activity, in this case climbing stairs, and the results obtained from exercise tests in a lab. Their idea was to find an inexpensive and simple way to assess heart health which can help physicians triage patients for additional, more extensive exams.

The study had 165 symptomatic patients referred to it for exercise tests due to suspected or unknown coronary artery disease. Some of the symptoms were shortness of breath during exercise or chest pain.

Participants were asked to run or walk on a treadmill, gradually increasing the intensity and continuing until they were exhausted. Exercise capacity was measured as METs (metabolic equivalents). Following a resting period of 15 to 20 minutes, the participants were asked to climb four flight of stairs (60 stairs) at a fast pace and without stopping or running, and their time was recorded.

The team analyzed the relationship between METs achieved during exercise tests and the time it took to climb four flights of stairs. The people who went up the stairs in less than 45 seconds achieved more than 9-10 METs. Earlier studies have shown that 10 METs during an exercise tests correlates to a low mortality rate (1% or less per year or 10% in 10 years). In contrast, people who took over 1.5 minutes to climb the stairs had less than 8 METs which correlates to a mortality rate of 2-4% per year or 30% in 10 years.

During the treadmill tests, the team also generated images of the heart to assess its function during exercise. If the heart is working normally during exercise this would indicate a low likelihood of coronary artery disease.

The team then compared these findings to the results of the stair climbing. 58% of participants who completed the stair climb in more than 1.5 minutes showed abnormal heart function during the treadmill exam. In contrast, just 32% of the participants who climbed the stairs in less than one minute had abnormal heart function during the treadmill exam.

Almost 1 in 3 of the study participants who climbed the stairs quickly still showed abnormal heart function which is a possible marker for coronary heart disease. This fact shows why the stair climbing test shouldn’t be used for more comprehensive evaluations. Based on this study, the ability to climb stairs can be used as a crude method to assess one’s physical function that could be predictive of overall heart health.

Stair climbing is often used to assess heart health because it is an exercise that gets a person’s heart rate up relatively quickly. Typically, if a person has an issue with a blocked heart artery, they tend to get symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pain at higher heart rates. Physicians will often use a person’s ability to climb a flight or two of stairs without an issue as a sign that they should probably do okay during surgery.

Stair climbing does have its limitations however. The biggest advantage to this method is its ease. It can be done almost anywhere with very little requirements of personnel or equipment. It is faster and cheaper to do than traditional stress tests and it can be repeated multiple times to track any changes or progress in functional ability.

However, the test is not standardized. The kind of stairs how fast the climbing of stairs is, and the time of effort can differ. And this method significantly limits evaluations of patients with limited mobility and elderly patients who can have more mechanical difficulty with climbing stairs.

The team also note that the correlation between the stair climbing time and exercise capacity (METs) would be similar in the general population. The corresponding mortality rates and heart function through imaging would be more favorable than for patients with symptoms and confirmed or suspected coronary heart disease.

To view the original scientific study click below

Test your heart health by climbing stairs.

Gut Microbes and Good Sleep

It is well known that intestinal health has a close link with healthy functioning of the brain. Researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan are now suggesting that normal sleep patterns may be influenced by gut bacteria through helping create important chemical messengers in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin.

The team’s findings could offer new hope for those who have difficulty sleeping or experience a variety of sleep related health problems such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, and mental fog. They found that depletion of microbes eliminates serotonin in the gut and brain levels of serotonin can affect a person’s sleep/wake cycle. Therefore, changing which microbes in the gut from altering a persons diet can help those who have sleep problems.

For the experiment, the team divided 25 genetically identical 8 week old male mice into 2 groups. The mice in the experimental group were given access to water along with 4 commonly used broad spectrum antibiotics. The other group was given water without antibiotics.

After the 4 week trial period, they compared the contents of the intestine between the two groups of mice. Digestion of food breaks it down into pieces and bits called metabolites.

They found a high amount of differences between metabolites in the mice that were microbiota depleted and the group that had been controlled. They found a difference of 200 or more in the metabolyte between the 2 groups. Almost 60 of metabolites that are normal were gone in the mice that had depleted microbiota with the others differing in the amount, with some that had more and some that had less in the group that was controlled.

They then went on to see how these metabolites would normally act. Using enrichment analysis of the metabolome they discovered that the pathways that were biological affected by the treatment of the antibiotics were those involved in neurotransmitter which are the molecules that brain cells use in communicating.

The results of the experiment indicated that the antibiotic treatment group totally closed down the pathway of tryptophan andserotonin. The mice that were microbiota depleted had higher levels of tryptophan than the control mice but almost no serotonin. It therefore, seemed that the gut microbes are a critical factor to the process that produces serotonin from tryptophan in foods. They had found that the mice were deficient in Vit. B6 metabolites accelerating production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

They analyzed the mice when sleeping by looking at the activity of the brain EEGs. They found that compared to the control mice, the mice that were microbiota depleted had more REM and non-REM sleep in the night when mice would be active. The mice that were depleted microbiota also had lesser amounts of non-REM sleep during the day, most of which mice will normally spend sleeping. In other words, this group of mice switched between sleep/wake cycles more frequently than the control group.

The team speculated that the sleep abnormalities were from the lack of serotonin. However, the mechanism that does this still needs to be discovered. They found that the microbe depletion eliminated serotonin in the gut and it is known that that brain serotonin levels can affect sleep/wake cycles.

Future studies using controlled feeding and the administration of certain microbes to determine the gut microbiota would allow researchers to assess each microorganisms individual impact on the sleep/wake cycle. Some research has shown that prebiotics which are nutrients that help support healthy intestinal microbiota, help improve the quality of sleep in humans.

To view the original scientific study click below

Gut microbiota depletion by chronic antibiotic treatment alters the sleep/wake architecture and sleep EEG power spectra in mice.

Is Weight Loss Harder as People Age?

A new study from the University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, has shown that your age is not a barrier to successful weight loss. People who are obese aged 60 and over can lose an the dame amount of weight as someone younger using only changes in their lifestyle.

The research team hopes that what they have found will help dispel societal misconceptions that prevail in regards of effectiveness of programs for weight loss in people that are older. They also hope to dispel myths in regards to older people potential benefits from working at reducing their weight.

The team’s findings are based on their findings after analyses of records from patients at a hospital based obesity service. The team randomly chose 242 patients that were present at the obesity service from 2005-2016 and two groups were compared. One group was under 60 years of age and the other was people from 60 years of age and 78 years of age. They compared the weight they lost of both groups achieved during the time in the service.

All participants measured their body weight before and again after a variety of lifestyle interventions were coordinated and administered in the obesity serve. The reduction by percentage in body weight across both groups was also calculated.

When the two groups were compared, the team found they were statistically equivalent with the age group under 60 showing an average weight loss by 7.3% compared with a reduction in weight loss of 69% in the group 60 and over. These groups also spent similar amounts of time with the service – averaging 33.6 months in the group over 60 and 41.5 months for those under 60 years of age.

The hospital based service employed only lifestyle based changes which were tailored to each individual. These changes focused on psychological support, dietary changes, and encouragement to engage in physical activity. Most of the people had been referred to the service were obese with BMIs usually over 40Kgm-2.

Over 50 co-morbidities of obesity can be reduced when someone loses weight and includes osteoarthritis, anxiety anddepression and diabetes. Obesity is also linked to poor well being and increased mortality.

Losing weight is important at every age, however as we age we are likely developing some of the co-morbidity weight related to obesity. A lot of these conditions mirror the effects of aging so it does seem relevant that losing weight becomes much more important as we age.

There is a variety of reasons why weight loss in older people is discounted. One of these is what is known as an “ageist” perspective which says that losing weight is not as important or as relevant to older people and the ability of older people to lose weight through increased exercise and dietary modifications.

Older people often feel that hospital-based obesity services are not for them. Policymakers and service providers should appreciate how important weight loss in older people with obesity is. Weight loss in this age group can help with maintenance of well being and health and also with the facilitation of healthy aging. Age should not contribute to clinical decisions in regards to the implementation of lifestyle management with the older population.

The team through their study, has shown that age should not be a barrier to lifestyle changes and management of obesity. Rather than putting up barriers to older people who want to access weight loss programs, clinicians should be proactively facilitating the process. To not do so certainly risks further and unnecessary neglect of older people through societal ageist misconceptions.

To view the original scientific study click below

Older age does not influence the success of weight loss through the implementation of lifestyle modification.

Drinking Linked to Decline in Health of Brain

Evidence for the harmful effects of alcohol on brain health has been compelling. And now researchers in the UK and Australia have shown evidence suggesting three periods of dynamic changes in the brain that could be particularly sensitive to the harmful effects of alcohol – gestation (conception to birth), later adolescence (15 to 19 years of age) and older adulthood (over 65 years).

The team warns that these three key periods could increase sensitivity to the effects of environmental exposures such as alcohol and harm prevention policies should take the long view.

Worldwide, around 10% of pregnant women drink alcohol with the rates considerably higher in European countries. Heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, cognitive impairment, and is associated with widespread reductions in brain volume. Data also suggests that even low to moderate consumption during pregnancy is significantly linked to poorer psychological and behavioral outcomes in offspring.

In regards to the adolescent years, more than 20% of 15 to 19 year olds in European and other high income countries report at least occasional binge drinking which is defined as 60g of ethanol on a single occasion.

Studies have shown that the transition to binge drinking in adolescence is linked to reduce brain volume, small to moderate deficits in a range of cognitive functions, and poorer white matter development which is critical to efficient brain functioning.

In older people, alcohol disorders are relatively rare in older adults, however even moderate drinking has been shown to be associated to a small but significant loss of brain volume in midlife. Further studies are needed however, to test whether these structural changes translate into functional impairment.

Additionally, demographic trends could compound the effect of alcohol consumption on brain health. As an example, women are now just as likely as men to consume alcohol and experience alcohol related harms.

It is forecast that global consumption of alcohol will rise further in the next decade. The effects of alcohol use and related harms during the COVID-19 pandemic are unclear, however alcohol use increased in the long term after other major public health crises.

The team suggests that population based interventions such as guidelines on low risk drinking, lower drink driving limits, and alcohol pricing policies need to be accompanied by the development of care and training pathways that take into account the human brain at risk throughout life.

To view the original scientific study click below

Lifetime perspective on alcohol and brain health.

Reversal of Age Related Vision Loss Due to Glaucoma

Scientists at Harvard Medical School have successfully reversed age-related vision loss in mice through turning back the time on aged retina eye cells to bring back youthful functioning of the gene. This work is considered to be the first test of the possibility to reprogram, in a safe manner, complex tissues such as nerve cells found in the eye to an earlier age.

The team also has reversed loss of vision successfully in the mice that have a condition that mimics human glaucoma which is one of the leading causes of blindness globally.

The achievements represent the first successful attempts to reverse glaucoma induced loss of vision instead of merely stemming its progression. If future studies are replicated, this approach would show the way for therapies to promote repairing tissues of various organs and also reverse in humans aging and diseases that are age related.

The study can demonstrate that it is possible to reverse safely the age of complex tissues as the retina and restore its biological function to a youthful state. They caution that the findings need to be replicated in future studies, including in a variety of models of animals before human experiments. However, the results offer conceptual proof and also a pathway to designing treatments for a variety of diseases that are age-related.

If realized through future studies, the findings will possibly be transformative for the treatment of diseases that are age related such as glaucoma and also to the fields of medical therapeutics and biology for disease at large.

For the work they used an adeno-associated virus (AAV) as the vehicle for delivering three youth restoring genes into the retinas in mice – Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 which during embryonic development are switched on.

The treatment showed multiple effects that were beneficial on the eyes of the mice. It firstly promoted regeneration of the nerve after damage to the optic nerves in mice. It also reversed vision loss in mice that had a condition that mimicked human glaucoma. And then it also reversed loss of vision in animals aging without glaucoma.

The new theory the research team used was based on why humans age. Almost all cells in a humans body have the same DNA molecules with dunctions that are widely diverse. To achieve the specialization of this degree, these cells can only read genes that are type specific. This regulatory function is the purview of the epigenome which is a system of specific patterns turning genes on and off without any alteration of the basic underlying DNA sequence of the gene.

The theory proposes that changes to the epigenome with time causes cells to read genes that are wrong and malfunction which promotes rise to diseases associated with aging. In the current study, the team hypothesizes that if DNA methylation, a way by which methyl groups are added onto DNA, does control aging, then deleting some of its footprints may reverse cell aging inside living organisms and eventually restore them to a more youthful and earlier state. Earlier work has achieved this in cells grown in lab dishes, thus falling short of showing the effect in a living organism. The new findings have demonstrated that the approach could be used in animals as well.

For the current study, the team wanted to use cells in the bodies central nervous system due to the fact that it is the first part of the body that is affected by aging. Following birth, the central nervous is prone to regeneration quickly.

In order to test if the young animals have the capacity to regenerate could be imparted to adult mice, the team had delivery of the modified three-gene combination per an AAV into retinal ganglion cells of adult mice who had optic nerve injury. The treatment resulted in a increase two-fold in the number of retinal ganglion cells surviving following the injury and increase five-fold in nerve regrowth.

At the start of the project, many of the team’s colleagues thought their approval would either be too dangerous or would fail to ever be used. However, their results promote this method is indeed safe and could possibly revolutionize eye treatments along with many other organs that are age affected.

Following the positive findings in mice with injuries of the optic nerve, the team partnered with other colleagues to find out if the three-gene cocktail could restore loss of vision due to glaucoma and also another test to see if the approach could reverse loss of vision stemming from the normal aging process.

In a mouse model that had glaucoma, the treatment led to increased nerve cell electrical activity and a notable increase in visual acuity. Remarkably, it did so following the glaucoma-induced vision loss had already occurred.

Scientists have rarely been successful in regaining visual function following an injury. This new approach which would successfully reverse multiple causes of loss vision in mice without the need for a retinal transplant, is basically a new treatment modality in regenerative medicine. The treatment also worked well in older, year old mice with vision diminishing due to normal aging.

The findings are encouraging and researchers believe that if these confirmed findings in further animal study, they may initiate clinical trials before two years to test the efficacy of this approach in people who have glaucoma.

To view the original scientific study click below

Reprogramming to recover youthful epigenetic information and restore vision.