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What is the “Future of ‘Anti-Aging’ Medicine?

Dr. Kane: I am always interested in the hype created by media for advertising dollars. Most of it is based in truth when it comes to ‘anti-aging’ and like so much of the past having ‘truisms’ today;one day we will live longer and better! The general public has many current mis-conceptions about the rewards in laser body contouring / weight loss and facial rejuvenation prescriptives. Without the patient’s involvement and commitment, medical discoveries will fail to provide their optimum results. It is said: “ live long enough for the next medical miracle to find the cure to what ails you today.” (+)

In 1997 (20 years ago, WOW!), following 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 5 years of General Surgery residency and 2 years of Plastic Surgery residency, Dr. Kane noted his disillusionment with patient expectations over the results of the cosmetic plastic surgery of the time.  He found that the physical improvement of looking younger did nothing for the physiologic rejuvenation of the cells of the skin and human organ system; ie. people looked better but not physiologically “be” better. Lauri, his PhD wifeand he joined visionaries Zein Obagi, MD, FAAD and Jim Carraway, MD, FACS at a lunch table to discuss the DYI (do-it-yourself) tsunami coming tothe Boomers “living better” generation. We spoke of the “Zone Diet” by Barry Sears which lead to the use of supplements to optimize nutrition and anti-oxidation. We discussed the use of tretinoin, a vitamin-A derivative to directly stimulate skin cell up-regulation. For Dr. Kane, this was enough to go back to additional self-learning with the goal of understanding and offering “physiologic” improvements in the body itself. After 3 years of extra-curricular learning, written and oral Board exams, he passed the Board from the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. [Correct, this is not part of the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties) but it did constitute a depth and breadth of learning that even ABMS grads don’t get today.] With this additional education, Dr. Kane coined the term “Cosmetic Medicine” as the next and current wave of Longevity Care. Dr. Kane has taught his philosophy and been honored to join various pharmacologic corporations as a consultant with his clinical perspective. He has integrated this philosophy into his Practice, The Center for Cosmetic Medicine and MediSpa with nutritional and calorie lifestyle control, proper skin stimulation, repair and protection (and previously, prescription Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement), to achieve a more optimal level of personalized rejuvenation.

The following article is interesting and re-blogged in edited form to illustrate the rapid progression in “anti-aging” medicine with the “caveat emptor” (buyer-beware) of the fiction and irresponsible marketing in 2017 and the future.  

The Future of Anti-Aging

Experts believe that exciting new innovations in the longevity space may one day redefine the way we age—and help us look better as we do it.

By Anne-Marie Guarnieri


Oct 27, 2017

A baby born within the past decade could live to be 150 years old. “Technology has reached a point where extending animal life span by 30 percent is routine,” says David Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and a renowned authority on longevity. “Dozens of companies are testing aging-reversal technologies in human clinical trials, and the combination of these could extend life span by decades.” Why is that a good thing? Because with science, those additional years could be happier, healthier ones. It does seem cruel, however, to have all that extra time if we’ll also look 150 years old. Fortunately, the most visionary anti-aging treatments on the horizon make pioneering plastic-surgery procedures seem run-of-the-mill. Read on to find out how a key supplement, DNA editing, and young blood could someday add years to your life, erase wrinkles, and potentially wipe out age-related diseases.

A Microsomal Energy Booster*

A molecule called NAD+ may hold the secret to boundless energy. The good news: Our cells already produce it, as it helps regulate our metabolism. The bad news: NAD+ declines as we age—by 50, levels are half of what they were at age 20. But scientists have discovered some powerful boosters that can help cells produce more NAD+. One of the most promising is NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide), a form of vitamin B3 found in fruits and vegetables like avocado and broccoli. A 2013 study showed that older mice that were given an NAD+-boosting compound containing NMN had dramatically healthier cells and muscle tissue. “We took a mouse that was the human equivalent of a 65-year-old back to a 25-year-old—in a week,” says Sinclair, one of the study’s authors. What’s more, he says, the mice not only had more energy and could run farther but were resistant to diseases like cancer and diabetes. “If you reverse aging in one organ or tissue, usually the whole body is reversed, because all cells have the same underlying defects,” he explains.

Could NMN have the same effect on us? Sinclair, 48, has been taking his own custom NMN supplement (500 milligrams) for almost two years. Tests have revealed that his cells now behave like that of a 31-year-old. “I started taking it in my late 40s, and sometimes in your late 40s you feel tired during the day or you don’t feel like getting up early in the morning,” he says. “I don’t feel that way anymore. I feel upbeat mentally and physically, and I have the endurance of an athlete, but I don’t exercise.” “You may one day be able to delete the negative signs of aging from your DNA for good, say scientists.”

Look Younger by Editing Your Genes**

You may one day be able to delete the negative signs of aging from your DNA for good. In late summer, the news was ablaze with talk of a fascinating procedure. Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University successfully removed harmful gene mutations from human embryos. Specifically, they fixed a mutation behind a common heart condition. Using a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR, or “genetic scissors,” they cut out the mutation and inserted a reparative enzyme. “If you want to add functionality to a gene, knock it out altogether, or change it just a little bit— that’s what CRISPR gave us the ability to do,” says biologist Daisy Robinton, a postdoctoral scientist at Boston Children’s Hospital who has used it in her work on cancer cells to positive result.

Though there were related stories warning of more nefarious uses for gene editing—designer babies, for example—for now, the focus is on higher-stakes concerns. Many CRISPR human trials are currently being done in China on patients with HPV, HIV, and lung cancer. “At first it’s going to be used only on cases where it’s worth the risk,” Robinton says, “and on people who are willing to take the risk because they don’t have many options.” As to whether CRISPR will be used for vainer pursuits—think curing baldness, eliminating gray hair, erasing wrinkles—Robinton, 30, is optimistic. “This isn’t the first time that biotech has invaded the beauty space,” she says. “It’s not [yet] real, but it’s our hopeful reality.”

Other forms of genetic rejuvenation are being pursued by a Seattle biotech company led by Elizabeth Parrish, 46, a self-described humanitarian, entrepreneur, and innovator. Two years ago, Parrish traveled to Colombia to receive two experimental anti-aging gene therapies: one meant to decrease the depletion of lean muscle mass; the other to increase the length of her telomeres, the end segments of DNA that shorten each time a cell divides. When telomeres reach a certain length, cells no longer divide and eventually die. If they could be extended, the thinking goes, so would the life cycle of the cell, thus prolonging its—and, by extension, our—existence. Her company wants to make gene therapies like these as common as preventative medicine, Parrish says, and is developing targeted treatments for aging-related degenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, and cosmetic procedures, like skin rejuvenation. “If we can’t regenerate the skin, the largest organ, you’re going to die,” explains Parrish. “People need to understand that this is not aesthetics—this is survival.”

And it’s also not a fantasy: The FDA recently approved a gene-altering leukemia treatment developed by the pharmaceutical giant Novartis. Yet some in the scientific community were rattled by Parrish’s self-experimentation. For her part, Parrish, who, it must be noted, is not a scientist, professes to be unconcerned, claiming that her biomarkers (such as triglycerides and inflammation—both down since her personal trial) are “fantastic,” and believes that her company’s therapies will be available to consumers within the next two decades. “This is proven science,” she says. “We just need to prove it in humans.”**

Blood Transfusions to Turn Back the Clock***

A youth-focused start-up in San Francisco specializes in infusing blood—specifically “young” blood, from teenage donors (ages 16 and up)—into older clients, in hopes of regaining stamina, improving cognition, and repairing muscles. Why teens? Because younger blood has far lower levels of the harmful proteins that build up with age, which may cause decreased production of brain cells and inflammation. (If it sounds ghoulish, keep in mind that platelet-rich plasma therapy, which uses vials of your own blood, has long been used to treat injuries, osteoarthritis, and hair loss.)

Still, the science behind young-blood transfusions, which has focused primarily on mice, is somewhat inconclusive. That hasn’t deterred founder Jesse Karmazin, M.D., from trying for a moon shot. The problem, according to Karmazin, 32, is that what he’s doing is still so new, it’s misunderstood. “People thought my idea was crazy. Until recently, anti-aging wasn’t really a field. But it’s amazing how quickly it’s exploded,” he says. “There’s all this research and decades of experiments in mice showing that it reverses aging, so I thought, ‘Why aren’t we doing this in people?’ ” His company is recruiting participants between the ages of 35 and 100 for a clinical trial to evaluate Karmazin’s theory, and expects to publish the findings within the next year. So far, Karmazin says, the results are “strong.” He has estimated that patients would need to have transfusions only twice a year to maintain the benefits. “People look younger when they leave the clinic. We’ve all been surprised at how well it seems to work,” he says. “A crucial part of the picture is that [blood transfusions are] an already proven medical treatment—we’re just purposefully using younger donors. If you get a transfusion, you’re likely going to get blood from someone who is older than you. But if we could encourage younger people to donate blood, it could help reverse aging.” “Encouraging younger people to donate blood could help reverse aging,” says Jesse Karmazin, M.D.

The Future Is Soon

Given how promising this sounds, it would be tempting to seek out a doctor who specializes in longevity and offer yourself up to science. Not so fast, says Sinclair. “Gene therapy is risky. Unlike a pill, if there’s a problem you can’t just stop taking it. It’s there forever.” And right now it’s also breathtakingly expensive: A well known pharmaceutical’s gene therapy costs $475,000. That makes the $45 price tag for a month’s supply of a “FeelGood” pill feels like couch change. There is good news, however, and it’s not just for babies. With a wellspring of money into longevity research from tech companies like Google, experts feel confident that in the next five to 10 years, supercharged anti-aging treatments like these will begin to come to market. “I don’t want to get wrinkles or gray hair, and I want to be able to lift weights and run forever,” says Robinton. “It’s important to be grounded in reality, but I feel the science is closer than ever before.”

Dr. Kane comments (+):

*This can be true and many other anti-oxidant, oxidative stress molecules and microsomal potentiating supplements are here now but they are not bio-available and are rudimentary in the face of microsomal genetic injury and mutations. We wish to believe that a single molecule or vitamin or mineral or any other unique factor will make a significant change in our well-being but the human physiology does not work that way. It takes multiple factors sometimes in series, sometimes in parallel to provide the profound changes we seek; that is why “whole” complementary foods and not single “nutrisentials” are required for optimal health.

** The human body and all living organisms maintain a positive and negative feedback and stimulatory system to maintain a balanced ecosystem. Without “bursting anyone’s bubbles”, re-editing and/ or replacing a single gene will trigger other changes down the genetic chain with currently unknown consequences. What is true, is that in the 17 years since the human genetic code has been read and in many ways recreated and studied, sensational new therapeutic options are becoming available.

*** Say what?! This is still the stuff of science fiction! Unless properly cross-matched against an allergic reaction, proper tissue typing and infection control, anyone transfusing blood without a Physicians evaluation and prescription is committing a crime. Anyone receiving such blood transfusion is exposing themselves to the major risks of complications just noted.

Don’t forget that Anti-aging and Rejuvenation require, hydration, a low calorie and nutrient dense diet with proper vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants and who know what hasn’t been discovered yet. Moderate exercise, adequate and not indulgent sun exposure, reduction in weathering and trauma risk among many other “good practices” are essential for optimal health.

Even within the parameters of Good Medicine and Good Physicians, the “Medical Wild West” with shady snake-oil and their salesmen are out there to “git ya”. Recall the cliché: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Seek proper consultation with a Board Certified Anti-Aging and Longevity Specialist!

This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.

Give us a call at  410.602.3322  or email Lauri@DrDeanKane.com and make an appointment soon. We’re located on Reservoir Circle just a block off the Baltimore beltway, convenient to greater Baltimore, Annapolis, the Eastern Shore, Southern Pennsylvania, Delaware and Carroll County.

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