In an era where the general criterion for beauty lies in the shallow standards and daily pressures of having a pretty, youthful face and a sexy body, staying young becomes significantly relevant. Fortunately, scientists may have found the “fountain of youth” through the Brain Cells' ability to control aging.

In the study published in the weekly journal Nature on July 26, a team of researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York found that the Hypothalamus could control aging. In fact, they were able to reverse the process of senescence successfully when they replaced the old cells with new ones in mice.

Role of the hypothalamus

The hypothalamus plays a significant role in the regulation of important body functions such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and development. In addition, “a group of specialized stem cells” located in this particular portion of the brain was also found responsible for the regulation of “how fast the human body ages over time.”

These cells that are associated with the gene expression management, through the release of microRNA molecules in the cerebrospinal fluid, could also be useful in detecting age-related diseases and in extending lifespan. According to senior author Dongsheng Cai, when the number of hypothalamic neural stem cells naturally declines, the process of aging is accelerated.

Is aging reversible?

The research also paved the way for the realization that aging is reversible. As per Cai, they found that the decline in the number of hypothalamic stem cells could be reversed by replenishing them.

Through this process, the different aspects of aging throughout the body could finally be slowed down or reversed.

The researchers, however, stressed that they are still identifying the particular microRNA populations, as well as the other “factors secreted by these stem cells,” which could have anti-aging effects.

Future anti-aging treatments and therapies

With the findings, Cai is optimistic that the identification of the microRNAs will lead to the development of future anti-aging treatment for humans.

But as per Richard Faragher of the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom, some Experts are already working on microRNA drug treatments, which reportedly have “the potential to become a therapy".

Faragher also added that other teams are working on various approaches. One of which is an “alternative method” that will focus on targeting “inflammation more generally.”

Other ways to reverse aging

As several scientists work towards the potential reversal of aging, there have been other scientific ways that were proven to be successful in such pursuit. One of the discoveries includes the injection of juvenile blood to regenerate neurons and muscle tissues. This process reportedly delays the “decline of the part of the brain associated with aging.”

Other ways also include the discovery of naturally-occurring chemicals (NAD) that could regenerate old muscle tissues, remove senescent cells, and genetic reprogramming. In a 2016 research, scientists were able to “reverse the aging in adult human cells” by reprogramming certain genes to “embryo-like conditions.”