Over the last few days we’ve been working to change some of the content of our website, and this seems like a good time to contextualize those changes in a broader discussion of SENS Foundation: who we are, what we want to achieve, why we want to achieve it, and some things we need to do in order to get there. I’ll also address some of the misconceptions about us which I think exist.
Resveratrol, a polyphenol famously found in wine, has previously been shown to extend lifespan in some naturally unhealthy rodent strains - but unfortunately does not show the same benefits in healthy, naturally long-lived mice. Meanwhile rapamycin, an immunosuppressant drug, has now become the first substance confirmed to at least moderately extend maximum lifespan in healthy mice.
The clearance of beta-amyloid (Abeta) and other protein aggregates by immunotherapy is a key rejuvenation biotechnology to restore youthful function to aging brains, especially those with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. Initial trials using anti-Abeta vaccines have demonstrated concomitant reductions in early-stage tau aggregates, but not in mature neurofibrillary tangles, suggesting that such vaccines would be optimally deployed much earlier in the disease process - or in combination with anti-tau vaccines.
SENS Foundation's CSO, Dr Aubrey de Grey, was first featured in Wired magazine in 2008, shortly before the Methuselah Foundation's initial USA-based conferences. Two years on, he's now returned in a more candid and detailed interview, discussing how the tactics involved in bringing rejuvenation biotechnologies to the attention of mainstream science have evolved and begun to bear fruit.
In September 2007 SENS Foundation's Chief Science Officer, Dr Aubrey de Grey, together with co-author Michael Rae published Ending Aging - an accessible description of the SENS platform. We're delighted to now be able to make the afterword to the paperback edition, summarising progress since the initial hardback publication, available for free download.
Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs - cytoplasmic inclusions composed of abnormal species of tau protein) accumulate in the aging brain, particularly in neurodegenerative disease, where they are closely associated with areas of neuronal death. The urgency of tackling tau accumulation in particular has become more apparent after recent studies revealed that clearance of beta-amyloid alone achieves only moderate clinical benefits, with continued pathology attributed in particular to persistent NFTs.