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Dr. Aubrey de Grey is the Chief Science Officer, founder of the SENS Research Foundation (SRF) and one of the original proponents of a damage repair-based approach to aging and age-related diseases. His work has inspired many others to think about aging differently and entertain the idea that, perhaps, we do not have to accept the suffering that age-related diseases cause.

In this article, Dr. de Grey writes a summary of the strategy of rejuvenation based on a periodic approach to repairing age-related damage. This approach has steadily gained increasing traction as the data supporting it grows; certainly, the clearance of senescent cells, a SENS approach, has enjoyed great public interest recently. Interestingly, while he certainly is not the only researcher to have suggested the idea, he was talking about removing senescent cells as a therapy back in 2002[1].

The work of Dr. de Grey has also encouraged others to pursue repair based approaches to aging, including the much-cited Hallmarks of aging which is almost certainly inspired by SENS[2].

The SRF has actively funded research into senescent cells, and companies like Oisin are a direct result of the work of the foundation and are now developing therapies to bring to market. Imagine what might be achieved if all seven of the SENS damages received the same level of support and interest. As a community, we can help to make this happen and maybe have a shot at healthy and longer lives as a result.

Conclusion

In the face of the increasing amount of research and data in support of SENS, there has been a large shift in academic enthusiasm and support for the repair approach to aging. The stakes are high here, but ultimately, if we can develop the tools and methods we need to address the damage that aging causes, we have a real shot at longer and most importantly healthier lives.

Literature

[1] Grey, A. D., Ames, B. N., Andersen, J. K., Bartke, A., Campisi, J., Heward, C. B., … & Stock, G. (2002). Time to talk SENS: critiquing the immutability of human aging. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 959(1), 452-462.

[2] López-Otín, C., Blasco, M. A., Partridge, L., Serrano, M., & Kroemer, G. (2013). The hallmarks of aging. Cell, 153(6), 1194-1217.

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Steve Hill

As a scientific writer and a devoted advocate of healthy longevity technologies Steve has provided the community with multiple educational articles, interviews and podcasts, helping the general public to better understand aging and the means to modify its dynamics. His materials can be found at H+ Magazine, Longevity reporter, Psychology Today and Singularity Weblog. He is a co-author of the book “Aging Prevention for All” – a guide for the general public exploring evidence-based means to extend healthy life (in press).
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