The Wide World of Age-Reversing Remedies

Pioneering biomedical researcher David Agus reveals which clock stoppers excite him most
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Parabiosis
“Researchers at UC San Francisco, Stanford, and Harvard have found that blood from young mice reverses aging in older mice. Gray hair turns colored again, and we may be able to improve brain function in subjects with neurodegenerative disease. This is the first time we’ve reversed aging in animals, and human trials have begun. Perhaps to conserve energy, the body turns off certain functions after the childbearing years. This could potentially show the body how to turn those back on.”

Brain Stimulation
“A group at Northwestern University has discovered that, using an electrical stimulation device the FDA approved for treating depression, they can stimulate a pathway connected to the hippocampus, which is commonly seen as the orchestral conductor of the brain. After they did this for 20 minutes a day, five days in a row, cognitive function went up. Meaning, we may be able to reverse some cognitive decline and also the impacts of stroke.”

The Practice effect
“There’s good data that yoga benefits us, and anyone who’s tried downward dog knows that yoga is all about frequent repetition. Also, increasing movement throughout the day, not just during your gym visit, helps you live longer. Good habits yield results, and that’s true for your psychology as well. People with a belief system—whether it’s God or something else—actually do better later in life. We can’t really explain it, but the data are profound.”


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David Agus

The Expert
David Agus, M.D.
He is a professor of medicine and engineering at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering. He’s also written The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life.

 

This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue feature How to Live a Long Life in L.A.