The Amazing Future of Longevity

Time: 3:13 Added: 7/6/2012
Views: 4257

Dr. Terry Grossman discusses some advances and possible new technologies that might help us greatly increase our longevity in the not too distant future. He talks about the growth of stem cells and their ability as well as what could be the next major step in health care.

Contributor(s): Grossman, Terry M.D.
Tags: lifestyle, heart health, heart disease, longevity, life expectancy, nanotechnology, stem cells

Interviewer: Doctor you've talked about the possibility of life expectancy increasing as we go. What are some of the things coming down the pipe that might help us do that?

Dr. Terry Grossman: I've written some books on anti-aging and books I've written with a futurist, Ray Kurzweil, we've used an analogy of three bridges. And we say that with these three bridges, one will lead to the next, and then lead to the next, and these three will be what help us to increase our longevity. Bridge one is the medicine and the therapies and the lifestyle choices we have today, and we're beginning to make some incremental changes. As I said, we have increased, we're adding five hours a day, adding about two, two and a half months to our life expectancy now with these strategies. 

Bridge two is the biotechnology revolution. Biotechnology is gonna largely be centered on the use of stem cells, and this is advancing very rapidly both in the United States and around the world. And the use of stem cell therapies will enable us to repair damage that we currently can't repair. For instance, parts of our bodies that wear out, the things that kill us today include, heart failure and kidney failure and lung failure and liver failure. If we were to have the ability to program some cells that could rejuvenate these organs, then the heart failure wouldn't kill us, the lung failure wouldn't kill us, etc. The fact is that we do, and these are stem cells. Originally we thought we would need to use embryonic stem cells. There was big controversy about that, we know. The good news is, thanks to the controversy and the fact that scientists were, in effect, kept in the United States from using stem cells, they turned to other types of stem cells, which are found in our bodies naturally, our adult stem cells. It appears that these adult stem cells have a lot of flexibility, a lot of ability to help us as well. 

Patients now, I have patients with end-stage heart failure that have undergone therapies where their own stem cells were taken from their bone marrow or from their abdominal fat, and then they were injected directly into their heart to treat their heart failure. We now have these therapies available today. The diseases that have been killing us in the past maybe won't be killing us quite as readily in the future, and as a result this will add to our life expectancy. 

Then in the next maybe 20 years, as we get into the 20-30's, we'll enter bridge three, which we refer to as the nanotechnology revolution. And with nanotechnology, this is technology on the scale of nanometers, which are essentially the size of our cells. If we have the ability to create these things called nanobots, we will be able to inject these into our body and they can repair processes that are also creating disease and causing us to age that we can't do today. So with the three strategies, the stem cells today and the nanobots in the future, I think that we'll be able to live far longer than we have in the past.

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