Geneticists claim drug will lower risk of disease, shorten illness periods
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/02/2012 -- An accomplished geneticist claims a pill capable of combating the ageing process will be available in as little as a few decades.
According to Dame Linda Partridge, of University College London, the drugs will allow middle-aged people to age relatively painlessly by reducing the risk of disease by tackling the ageing process itself.
Taking these drugs, she said, will significantly shorten periods of illness that people generally experience as they grow old, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Addressing those gathered at the recent EMBO life sciences meeting in Nice, France Dame Linda said other therapies will be produced that imitate the effects of a simple, low-calorie diet, which, according to animal studies, prevent a wide range of age-related conditions including heart disease and diabetes.
“One obvious approach in trying to deal with the very rapidly increasing incidence of age related diseases is to tackle the underlying aging process itself, because it is the major risk factor,” the paper quoted her as telling the Telegraph. “What we want is, rather than a lingering period of ill health, to have a fairly sudden death when it comes. We are not talking about immortality, we are trying to get rid of that period of ill health that people get towards the end of their lives, to hold off age related disease for longer.”
In animals, genetic alterations and diet restriction have delayed ageing by blocking components of the body’s chemical network that regulate growth and metabolism, among other functions.
Certain drugs in use - including aspirin and metformin - produce a similar effect.
Since the treatments address ageing, they may also preserve muscle strength and skin elasticity.
Dame Linda predicted that within the next generation the key ingredients of which she speaks can be combined into a single pill capable of protecting human beings against most negative effects of ageing.
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