The Major Mouse Testing Program is a volunteer group focused on studying potential therapies to treat aging. They aim to carry out necessary mouse studies that the mainstream of the research community is neglecting, many of which are combinations of multiple treatments, so as to speed up the pace of progress in this field. The volunteers, researchers and advocates, are presently crowdfunding their first set of studies. With just a few weeks left in the fundraiser, I encourage you to help out and offer your support in this venture. The more of this work that is accomplished, the closer we come to clinical applications of the underlying technologies, ways to meaningfully treat aging to extend healthy life and prevent age-related disease.
People could live longer lives in health and vitality by taking new kinds of medicines that clean out their bodies of old, dysfunctional cells, says a Paris-based research group. The idea is - instead of waiting for bodily aging to make people vulnerable to diseases like Alzheimer's or cancer - to keep the body strong and healthy as long as possible. The International Longevity Alliance (ILA), a French foundation, says research increasingly points to damage and junk in the cells as crucial to the aging process whereas in the past it was thought aging was just a general 'wearing out' of the body which nothing could be done about.
The ILA's new research project - the Major Mouse Testing Program (MMTP) - will test a combination of three drugs of a new kind called senolytics, which have successfully demonstrated their ability to significantly improve the state of the cardiovascular system, lungs and skin in old mice, but have not yet been tested for the effects they are believed to have on longevity. To speed up the pace of the experiments, testing will be done in mice that have already reached middle age - 18 months old - corresponding to a person aged around 60. "Although your body ages every day, researchers are working to unlock the secrets of aging and volunteers are joining forces from all over the world to help medical research restore vitality. This could be part of a last big push against decrepitude. We want to find a way to help the body get rid of old cells that inhibit the body's natural capacity of regenerating its tissues."
The ILA is fundraising for the first batch of tests, which are being done on a voluntary basis, though costs of mice, their housing and food, and analysing the results, need to be covered. The results will be made freely available to scientists around the world. The crowdfunding model, and the fact that the project is volunteer-run, is deliberately non-traditional - no shareholders expecting a return, no grant applications which can fall foul of politics - with the hope of speeding up the rate of progress in anti-aging medicine. The current project is the MMTP's first stage, but it is planned it will lead to many more tests to develop an arsenal of proven treatments and to understand effects of combining them. The more money raised, the more substances researchers will test - some 200 promising ones have not been tested yet. Combining senolytics to clear toxic cells with stem cell therapy, to promote healing, is among the future projects planned.