Last weekend, A4M hosted the largest anti-aging medicine event ever, gathering over 5,500 guests, 120 globally renowned speakers and educators, and 400 market-shaping companies. Delivering four full days of cutting-edge science, the latest research, and meaningful, practical education, LongevityFest 2022 marked a pivotal point in A4M’s history and that of the specialty itself.
The conference was packed with noteworthy moments: from a keynote address by the celebrated innovator Peter Diamandis, MD, to the launch of new products from industry leaders like Precision Analytical and Quicksilver Scientific. But most exciting was seeing so many people coming together to celebrate this growing field and its future.
While there were too many unforgettable happenings to list, this blog highlights some of the most noteworthy educational takeaways presented by our star-studded panel of experts at LongevityFest 2022.
5 Longevity Takeaways For Your Practice
1. Nitric Oxide is vital for cellular regeneration, chronic disease management, and preventing age-related decline.
A hot topic at this year’s conference, nitric oxide (NO), was the subject of numerous faculty presentations and a one-day pre-conference workshop. Nathan Bryan, PhD, a prominent nitric oxide researcher known for pioneering the NO field, outlined the importance of the compound for longevity while sharing his professional insights. Here are a few significant points from his session:
- One essential longevity intervention is enhancing the body’s ability to make nitric oxide.
- Remedying decreased blood flow and perfusion to specific organs and tissue – underlying causes of chronic diseases – can correct many neurological conditions and other health concerns.
- Age-related declines in nitric oxide production contribute to cardiovascular and chronic disease risk.
- Nitric oxide deficiency and associated chronic disease increase illness and mortality from viral infection.
- Lifestyle interventions may not be sufficient in restoring NO levels; safe and effective nitric oxide products are crucial to optimizing health and will profoundly impact the future of medicine.
2. Artificial intelligence is the future of medicine and health care.
A legendary innovator and entrepreneur, Peter Diamandis, MD, took over the LongevityFest main stage to present his keynote on longevity breakthroughs, including the latest exponential technologies and the ever-growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the future of medicine. Dr. Diamandis emphasized the ongoing transformation from sick care to continuous health care, which will largely depend on the robust capabilities of wearables, sensors, nanobots, and other AI-based technologies. Below are a few important takeaways from his keynote:
- Artificial intelligence is uniquely well-positioned to envelop health care, collecting and utilizing data from increasing technologies used by consumers, practitioners, and healthcare systems.
- With ubiquitous access to wide-ranging data, researchers aided by AI will dramatically accelerate longevity science. This knowledge will amplify human health as the medical care paradigm shifts from acute symptom management to long-term, continuous monitoring.
- Current medical care focuses on tackling the problem at hand, and it does not care if said problem is the result of an underlying chronic condition. As current medical procedures and health monitoring are too complicated and expensive for patients to perform on their own, they are ultimately reliant on the competency of their physicians.
- The coming abundance of healthcare data will revolutionize how we live and approach healthcare by putting the power of exponential technologies in the hands of patients.
3. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has a growing range of therapeutic applications and exhibits neuroprotective effects and cognitive function benefits.
Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are no longer a novel or unique sight, as their increasing popularity in the wellness space has led to a dramatic rise in on-demand hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Widely recognized for its ability to reduce inflammation, enhance stem cell production, and accelerate wound healing, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) remains a subject of intense research, with emerging findings continuing to expand its clinical applications. Joseph C. Maroon, MD, a pioneer in neuroscience and neurosurgery, explored the established and emerging therapeutic benefits and revealed the latest findings on the neurological effects of HBOT. Here are a few key takeaways from his lecture:
- Burgeoning clinical applications of this treatment include traumatic brain injury, stroke, post-traumatic stress disorder, athletic performance, neurodegenerative diseases, and modulating biomarkers of aging. Research reveals that HBOT can increase telomere length and decrease immunosenescence – two vital components of the aging process.
- Studies have found improvements in cognitive measures following HBOT, including better recall, executive function, cognitive flexibility, and reductions in mental illness symptoms.
- Significant cognitive, attention, and executive function increases were reported in patients with long COVID-19 syndrome, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury following hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
- There is a need for further research and more clinical reporting on HBOT. An optimal treatment program and clinical guidelines remain under investigation.
4. Cortisol is a crucial hormone to consider in longevity medicine for increasing patient healthspan and improving quality of life.
Predominantly associated with stress, cortisol is an essential hormone for life and optimal health. Cortisol deficiency can present as mental and physical fatigue, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and oversensitivity to stress. Meanwhile, excess cortisol can lead to weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure, bone loss, and swelling. Renowned hormone health pioneer, speaker, and educator, Thierry Hertoghe, MD, highlighted the importance of maintaining adequate hormone levels, balancing perfectly between excess and deficiency, to improve patient healthspan, lifespan, and quality of life. Below are some take-home points from his lecture:
- Very low cortisol levels can result in mental suffering, low quality of life, and depression. With no cortisol in the body, there is no life; death is imminent within 24 hours.
- Cortisol therapy can be life-extending. Bio-identical cortisol in the form of hydrocortisone is the recommended treatment for cortisol deficiency, as well as glucocorticoid treatment, which can benefit inflammatory conditions as well.
- Short-term high-dose glucocorticoid therapy can increase survival probability during emergencies, including sepsis and septic shock.
- DHEA is the key to making any systemic glucocorticoid treatment safe, as it protects against excessive cortisol-induced catabolism of tissues and immunity.
- Fludrocortisone is another important drug often combined with hydrocortisone to protect against cortisol-induced aldosterone deficiency and drops in blood pressure.
5. Metformin and rapamycin are the most promising longevity drugs in the pipeline, but their clinical use in anti-aging medicine is far from approval.
Research scientists are increasingly focusing on potential pharmaceutical interventions to combat the adverse side effects of aging. The two most promising therapeutics for preventing age-related disease and promoting longevity are rapamycin and metformin, although both require more conclusive scientific evidence before they can be recommended for clinical use. Renowned longevity researcher Robert Lufkin, MD, presented the latest scientific evidence of the medications’ anti-aging effects during his lecture. Here are a few key takeaways from the session:
- Studies have found that metformin can extend the lifespan of type 2 diabetes patients, reduce cancer risk in treated diabetes, decrease cardiovascular mortality, and lower all-cause mortality. However, questions remain as to its value in non-diabetics, longevity effects, and long-term safety.
- Initially introduced as an immunosuppressant medication for transplant patients, rapamycin also possesses anti-cancer properties, may increase life expectancy in mice, and stimulate autophagy.
- Rapamycin can also affect age-related changes in appearance by inducing hair regeneration and increasing collagen VII levels.
- Research has shown potential risks related to rapamycin – immune suppression, sarcopenia, brain health – along with adverse side effects during treatment, even at low doses.
- Both metformin and rapamycin will remain under scientific investigation until there is an adequate body of knowledge to support either of their longevity benefits. For now, not enough is known about their mechanisms of action for longevity or their synergies with other medications and health markers.
The Latest In Longevity Now Available On-Demand
These are only a few of the many incredible anti-aging breakthroughs and longevity innovations presented at LongevityFest 2022. If you were not able to attend, you can still gain access to hours of ground-breaking education, invaluable insights from global industry leaders, and the latest best-in-class resources by purchasing LongevityFest On-Demand Access here.