Every new discovery is greeted by the press as though it is ‘THE’ cure for aging just like all the cures for cancer we’ve experienced over the years. Autophagy has long been known as an aging mechanism (its downturn during aging) and in fact it is generally supposed to be what the life-extending application of rapamycin does – by inhibiting mTOR, which represses autophagy. And again saying the hypothalamus controls aging is an overstatement, it’s one of the clocks – and when it was prevented from aging it did result in life span extension by the usual twenty-something percent (nothing to sneeze at of course), as did preventing hypothalamus aging (or supplying gonadatrophin releasing hormone).
What I find missing is the recent article in Nature, their ‘Epigenetic Roadmap’ issue showing by analysis of the epigenome of brain cells – that the mutation resulting in Alzheimer’s Disease is not a problem with neurons but with astrocyte-mediated immune processes that cause the neuron to produce amyloid in response?
It’s like reaching into a machine complex beyond understanding and pulling out a random part out of thousands, millions, that stops it from working well – and saying – so this is what makes it work!