Aging process

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Aging is a normal unavoidable process that ends by death. While median lifespan of a newborn was around 10 years just 50,000 years ago, and in old Rome 25 years, today it is between 38 (in some Third World countries) and 80 years (in Japan). In the past it was neonatal mortality and infectious diseases, mostly in children, today diseases of old age that are the most common cause of death: in 50% cardiovascular diseases, and in 25% cancer. Diseases prohibit reaching the maximum ‘theoretic’ lifespan of 120 years. The actual maximum lifespan has not changed for centuries.

Causes of aging:

Only a few cell types are immortal, i.e. those with unlimited proliferation: germ cells, cancer cells, hematopoietic stem cells. All other cells die and have to be replaced, and a disease is a lack of cell replacement. Aging disease is one of them.

Aging and lifespan are genetically determined. In Werner’s disease, known as ‘progeria’, the mutation of gene coding DNA-helicase brings about other somatic DNA mutations, and shortening of telomerase, that causes limitations of mitosis and subsequent premature aging. Experience with patients suffering from genetic disease with shortened lifespan and phenotypic signs of premature aging provide additional proofs: Down syndrome, Cockayne syndrome, ataxia telangiectasia, Seip syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, myotonic dystrophy; increased incidence of certain genetic diseases due to the higher age of father (Apert syndrome, Marfan syndrome, achondroplasia, myositis oddificans, etc.) or due to the age of a mother past 35 (all trisomies) likewise.

This idea is actually quite old, because other proofs have been collected for decades. With age there is a growing number of aneuploid cells, in particular hypodiplod cells with loss of chromosomes X and Y in lymphocytes of peripheral blood and bone marrow. Classical mutagens, i.e. X-rays, increased temperatures, UV radiation, shorten lifespan in protosoa’s. There is a 1.6% growth a year in a number of mutations found in human lymphocytes.

With age, there is a significant decrease of effectiveness of human respiratory cascade, as well as progressive accumulation of deletions of mitochondrial DNA, identical to deletions in Kearns-Sayre syndrome. Another proof of ‘mitochondrial theory of aging’ is an incidence of negativity of cytochrom C oxidase in myocardial and peripheral muscle fibers, which shows the mosaic of aging changes in human tissues.

Hypothetically cell aging is caused by mutations of dominant or co-dominant type.

Many genetic diseases and polygenetic risks influence lifespan secondarily.

But studies of monozygotic twins showed that 2/3 of variability of lifespan are not of genetic nature.

In the course of aging various body functions are reduced: maximum voluntary ventilation, oxygen consumption, cardiac index, glomerular filtration rate, etc. Weight of muscles and bones decreases for hormonal reasons. Generalized weakness is characterized by lowered muscle strength, prolongation of reflexes, limitations of motion, balance disturbances, lack of endurance that results in falls, fractures, limitations of daily physical activities, and loss of independence. Cause of muscle weakness are not only physiological processes of aging and wear and tear, but also lack of motion, all combined in a vicious circle. Memory loss of old age depends mostly on damage of long-term potentiation in cortex and hippocampus, with lowered density of glutamate receptors in gyrus dentatus.

Oxidative damage of membrane lipids, DNA, is another cause of aging, as well as accumulation of protein damage due to oxygen radicals, and diminution of activity of enzymes protecting against oxidation in the course of aging, all pointing to the environmental cause.

Let’s now focus on the revitalization effect of fetal cell transplants, especially of placenta and gonads, as researched extensively by Kment. It is less a targeted stimulation of specific organs, rather than a more general improvement of elementary functions of the entire organism, and thereby increased vitality. Term ‘revitalization’ was created by Niehans, as he wanted to clarify that ‘rejuvenation’ is not possible as biological clocks cannot be moved backward. But that does not mean that a discrepancy between the chronological age and biological age is not correctible. The premature aging shows as an excessive wear and tear and psychosomatic exhaustion.

Rietschel described the revitalization effect of fetal cell transplantation as an improvement of the general state of health. Majority of patients suffering from various diseases very seldom state that their ‘heart condition, digestive function, or breathing, etc., is better after cell transplantation’, but speak of subjectively improved general state of health. In other words patients do not notice the better function of a single organ, even if that organ is malfunctioning and thus of deep concern to the patient, but rather a better appetite, or change of taste for more appropriate foods, adjustment of weight, healthier skin color (from better blood circulation through skin), disappearance of wrinkles, stable emotions, more active mental and physical state, i.e. increased vitality. Physical and psychological factors overlap and are inseparable in patients’ descriptions of their condition. There are positive changes of metabolism which are the basis of regeneration of damaged organs, and that is what is perceived by the patients as revitalization. On the basis of 378 own patients studied, the revitalization rate of 93.5% is reported after fetal cell transplantation. The effect lasted on the average 6 to 12 months, occasionally 2 years or longer. VI.BIBLIOGRAPHY [255] But with BCRO fetal cell transplants the treatment has to be repeated only every 3 years.

Studies on experimental animals are difficult to carry out, and there are always questions, whether results of such animal studies are of any value to a patient with aging disease, i.e. does it improve the therapeutic possibilities. Multiple experimental animal studies, carried out in particular by Kment and his group in Vienna, Austria, were based on recognition of close relationship between wear and tear and aging process, and the ties of aging process to the vitality and various diseases of the older age. For studies of aging, wear and tear, involution, lowered vitality, they used controlled experiments in rats on elasticity and tear resistance of aorta and skin, collagen performance, tissue respiration in aorta, heart, liver, and kidney, mitochondrial function of myocardial fibers and hepatocytes, spontaneous activity, resorption, distribution, and elimination of V-Penicillin, in relation to age. Fetal cell transplantation of placenta and gonads significantly improved all measured parameters. VI.BIBLIOGRAPHY [256, 257, 259]

Others proved that fetal cell transplantation improves tissue oxygenation, thyroid function, reverses atrophy of vaginal epithelium, prolongs lifespan, etc., but if all such positive results are taken together it still gives no answer to the key question about vitality. One can repeat after Gallileo Gallilei “to measure what is measurable, and make measurable what has not been measured yet”, but vitality still cannot be directly measured. Medicine has never been a pure science, but also an art and one has to trust the wisdom of patients: the conscious decision to undergo repeated fetal cell transplantation treatment at regular intervals by countless patients seeking revitalization by their own volition is a scientific fact like any other.