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Researchers discover unprecedented method for reversing wrinkles

The anti-aging industry is a massive business, with a wide range of products available showing varying degrees of effectiveness. But what if wrinkles could be truly reversed, hair loss stopped, and skin elasticity restored?

Thanks to new research conducted by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, true age reversal at the cellular level may be a reality in the future.

The study was published in the journal Cell Death and Disease.

“Wrinkled skin and hair loss are obvious features of skin aging and aging-associated phenotypic changes in humans,” the research team writes. “We discovered that these aging-associated phenotypic changes could be reversed by restoring mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) content to wild-type level. To our knowledge this observation is unprecedented.”

The researchers knew that mitochondrial DNA depletion was associated with aging and age-associated chronic diseases, but were not sure to what extent.

To test the relationship between aging, genetics, and mtDNA, the researchers depleted mtDNA in mice using a specific gene mutation. The mutated mice quickly exhibited rapid signs of aging including wrinkles and hair loss.

The mice were given an antibiotic that caused mtDNA depletion and jumpstarted the rapid aging.

Once the mtDNA depletion was reversed and mitochondrial function restored, within two months the mice had no wrinkles and shiny, thick fur. The mice were indistinguishable from other healthy mice of the same age, according to the Washington Times which reported on the study.

The results of the study were so positive that the researchers have good reason to believe that similar gene therapies could reverse aging in humans.

“This mouse model should provide an unprecedented opportunity for the development of preventive and therapeutic drug development strategies to augment the mitochondrial functions for the treatment of aging-associated skin and hair pathology and other human diseases in which mitochondrial dysfunction plays a significant role,” said Keshav K. Singh, an author of the study, in a statement.

By Kay Vandette, Staff Writer

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