Are you interested in trying potential rejuvenation therapies from the leading edge of the research and development community, approaches that have arisen from the churning mix of contradictory science and promise that characterizes medical science before it reaches the clinic? Do you grasp the nature of this work and the care that it involves in practice? The resources here attempt to at least outline how one would responsibly go about obtaining early access to rejuvenation therapies presently under development - that may or may not work well - and assess the outcomes.
Self-ownership is the natural state of the world. We have the ethical right to do as we will with ourselves and our bodies, provided we cause no harm to others in the course of that work. A strong tradition of self-experimentation exists in the research and advocacy movements, and the list of noted scientists who have tested their own discoveries ahead of introducing them into the regulatory system is lengthy indeed. Further, it is always true that, at some point, someone has to be among the first to try any new approach to medicine. Why not those who have for years followed and supported the development of new therapies for aging?
The freedom to self-experiment, as is the case for any freedom, comes tightly coupled to responsibility and accountability. In choosing to self-experiment, you - and no-one else but you - is both responsible and accountable for the consequences. Make foolish choices and you have no-one else to blame but yourself. Suffer an exceptionally unlikely and unlucky adverse outcome, or permanent damage to health and well-being, despite taking all reasonable precautions, and again, you and no-one else but you is responsible. Only you can assess the risks, sift through evidence and reports from others, and responsibly weigh the plans you carry out.
First of all, self-experimentation involves the use of pharmaceuticals or candidate pharmaceuticals or other approaches to treatment that have limited human data, or definite side-effects. One should read the relevant papers on their effects, side-effects, and dosages, and make an individual decision on risk and comfort level based on that information. This is true of any therapy, whether or not approved for use. Do not trust other opinions you might read online: go to the primary sources, the scientific papers, and read those. Understand that where the primary data is sparse, it may well be wrong or incomplete in ways that will prove harmful.
Also understand that an older physiology can be frail and vulnerable to the side-effects of specific pharmaceuticals and other therapies in ways that do not occur in younger people and that are not well covered by the studies; pharmacokinetic studies necessary to establish side-effects and tolerances don't tend to be carried out in very old humans. Further, existing published data for a few dozen or a few hundred humans cannot reliably characterize the likelihood of rare adverse effects - that data only arrives much later in the formal development process, after thousands of people have undergone the treatment.
Lastly, obtaining and using pharmaceuticals - and many categories of molecules that are not yet regulated as pharmaceuticals - for the purposes of self-experimentation is illegal. Choosing to do so would be a matter of civil disobedience, as is the case for anyone obtaining medicines outside established regulatory systems of prescription and regulation. People are rarely prosected for doing so for personal use in the US - consider the legions of those who obtain medicines overseas for reasons of cost, despite the fact that doing so is illegal - but "rarely" is not "never." If you believe that the law is unjust, then by all means stand up against it, but accept that doing so carries the obvious risks of arrest, conviction, loss of livelihood, and all the other ways in which the cogs of modern society crush those who disagree with the powers that be.
Measurement is critical to self-experimentation. Our hopes and impressions fool our senses. Without measurement, it is pointless to try to gain early access to the first potential rejuvenation therapies. How would one determine whether or not it worked? Only measurement allows us to assess the quality of therapies. While self-experiments are not rigorous science, with groups of people in a study and scientific controls, it is nonetheless the case that, if carried out by enough distinct individuals who report before and after measurements, they can help to point the way.
Many cost-effect means of measurement exist, widely available and accessible to people of modest means. It is perfectly possible to mix and match among these metrics for any given use case, making sensible decisions about cost and time and difficulty and quality and variability of the data. The information is widely available online, and members of the quantified self movement have already carried out much of the necessary assessment and documentation in recent years.
As senolytic treatments to clear senescent cells advance towards the clinic, ever more people are self-experimenting with early senolytic pharmaceutical candidates, largely repurposed chemotherapeutics. It isn't hard to find their communities online, but do not listen to what they have to say unless it comes accompanied by data: measurements of health and aging taken before and after a test. Anecdotes are worthless, and even rigorously collected data must be gathered from many people to begin to be credible.
Note that any portion of rejuvenation biotechnology that advances to the point at which self-experimentation becomes practical tends to become a fast-moving field. Specific details and data in guides fall out of date fairly rapidly, on a timescale of a few years, though the general principles for designing and carrying out self-experiments remain valid.
- 2018: How to Plan and Carry Out a Simple Self-Experiment, a Single Person Trial of Chemotherapeutic Senolytic Drug Candidates
- 2018: How to Plan and Carry Out a Simple Self-Experiment, a Single Person Trial of Senolytic Peptide FOXO4-DRI
Following are reports from the commmunity:
Last updated: March 5th 2018