The SENSible Blog discusses the development of rejuvenation biotechnology around the world: progress being made in the field of longevity, the design of medical therapies to cure, reverse and prevent the diseases and disabilities of aging, and much more.

Our content is a blend of popular interest articles – labelled “Easy Reads”, and designed to require no specific background knowledge – as well as more detailed scientific commentaries, labelled as “In-Depth” and aimed towards readers with some grounding in the biological/medical sciences.

In-Depth

Bold Leaps Forward for α-Synuclein Immunotherapy

α-synuclein (AS) neuropathology is one of the key forms of aging damage driving Parkinson’s disease (PD) and aspects of the “normal” loss of cognitive and autonomic nervous control with age. Immunotherapy targeting the clearance of AS aggregates from aging neurons is a key rejuvenation biotechnology for the prevention and reversal of brain aging and PD. The first human clinical trial of an AS-clearing active vaccine in early-stage PD patients was initiated in the summer of 2013. The highly promising results of this first trial have now been announced, and have led to a followup study and the launch of an EU consortium to test it for additional AS-related indications. Contemporaneously, two human trials have been initiated using a second AS-clearing rejuvenation immunotherapy, this one using infused monoclonal antibodies as a passive immunotherapic rather than an antigen-based vaccine. We review progress in this area and its links to the wider progress in PD-related rejuvenation biotechnology.

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In-Depth

Rejuvenation Biotechnology: Toward the Indefinite Postponement of Menopause

A recent interview with SENS Research Foundation Chief Science Officer Dr. Aubrey De Grey evoked an eruption of worldwide media coverage, because of a brief comment he made to the effect that rejuvenation biotechnology could eliminate menopause within twenty years. This post gives some examples of foreseeable biotechnologies carrying us toward that eventuality.

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In-Depth

The Neuroprotector’s Dilemma: A Potential Neuroprotective Agent with a Janus Face

Rejuvenation of the aging brain will require the integrated application of several core rejuvenation biotechnologies, including notably those that remove intra- and extraneuronal aggregates implicated in neurodegenerative aging and mature cell therapy. Numerous aggregate-clearing rejuvenation biotechnologies are now in human trials, whereas mature cell therapy for the brain is a more challenging goal and will not be available for some time. In this context, an alternative approach to maintaining the viability of aging neurons could complement aggregate-clearing therapies to preserve neurons until neural replacement and reinforcement matures. In this post we explore the potential of one recently-emerged approach: inhibition of the unfolded protein response (UPR).

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In-Depth

Unbinding the Mummies: Human Testing of Rejuvenation Biotechnology Targeting α-Synuclein Begins

Aggregates of the neuronal membrane protein α-synuclein accumulate in the aging brain and are implicated in the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders, as well as subtler age-related dysfunction of the autonomic and peripheral nervous system. Preclinical evidence demonstrates that immunotherapeutic clearance of these aggregates in transgenic animals rescues Parkinson’s-like behavioral and cognitive dysfunction. With support from a major Parkinson’s research and advocacy charity, an Austrian biotech firm has advanced a first-in-class rejuvenation biotechnology targeting α-synuclein aggregates into Phase I clinical trials.

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In-Depth

New and Better Clinical Trials for Rejuvenation Biotechnologies

The need for disease-modifying therapies in Alzheimer’s disease, and the strength of the case for aggregated beta-amyloid as a target, have recently driven substantial regulatory reform and innovations in clinical trial design to open up the path for faster and more effective human testing and approval of novel Alzheimer’s therapeutics. The first fruits of these changes are a series of large, late-stage clinical trials of immunotherapies targeting the removal of beta-amyloid from the brain. These reforms and precedents open up the path for human testing and approval of future rejuvenation biotechnologies.

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