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Drug 'reverses' ageing in animal tests

  1. Mar 24, 2017 #1

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2017 #2
    Very interesting. Are there any further tests planned in the near future?
  4. Mar 27, 2017 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    This describes a hypothetical animal that is the common ancestor of the placental mammals: http://www.livescience.com/26929-mama-first-ancestor-placental-mammals.html

    If you are willing to accept that notion, then mice and humans have been evolving separately for about 64 million years. That is a big reason why successful experiments on mice do not always translate well to humans. Yes. They are planning more research. As a side note: failures are not usually published, so there is a reasonable chance you may never see more news reports on this line of investigation.
  5. Mar 27, 2017 #4

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    This thread deserves some explanation -not about Biology but about experimental design and

    Bruce Ames at U Washington has done a lot of work on the mitochondrial theory of ageing.
    Specifically, his group found that α-lipoic acid and L-acetyl carnitine given to rats did in fact
    reverse some aspects of ageing - mostly relating to cognitive traits. So his group did
    some human clinical research which had positive results. Nothing more definitive was done.
    I'll define more definitive later.

    Herein lies the problem - the kind of study that would establish the treatment as a bona fide
    result would require so much expense that only a major pharmaceutical company or the
    government can possibly pay for it. Those trials are called RCT - random contolled trial.
    They are the definitive gold standard.

    Clinical means study small group of volunteers usually for a few months at most. Some
    cost for one physician's time and some supplies, with some administrative overhead to
    oversee ethical and legal aspects.

    RCT's require people all over the human genetic spectrum from all over the world, meaning
    thousands of patients under medical care at facilities in many countries. The word
    expensive does not do justice to this. Many medical facilities do nothing but run these
    kinds of trials. Big business.

    Anyway, since those two chemicals have been available for years, nobody can patent them.
    It would be like trying to patent aspirin. So nobody can charge US$10.00 per pill to recoup
    costs and pay off shareholders and bank loans. This whole thing is a big problem.

    In the US there are too many minimally tested or untested supplements for sale. Labeling
    restrictions are minimal as well. So if you google for one of the compound names listed,
    you get lots of pill pushers' ads. This is essentially the fate of Bruce Ames research now.

    Before someone points this out: https://nccih.nih.gov/ NIH alternative medicine site.
    It is a great resource on known validity of supplements and too few people use to check supplements.

    They do fund some limited studies on some supplements. Not all. But, IMO, there is still
    a bunch of snake oil for sale out there.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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