Wellness Jan-Feb 2011: Reversed Aging

Posted: February 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Wellness Cover

Aesthetic Trends & Technologies
January - February 2011
Wellness Department

Can We Turn Back Time?


By Jeffrey H Spiegel, M.D., Contributing Editor & Advisor

Speaking about aging, Mark Twain noted that, “It is sad to go to pieces like this, but we all have to do it.” That is, aging is inevitable. As far as we know, time moves in only one direction; and as the years pass, our bodies show the wear. My practice focuses on cosmetic facial surgery. With time, skin loses its elasticity, areas of fullness become hollow, and gravity takes its toll on a less resilient face, resulting in signs of aging. I fight these changes with injectable fillers that restore volume, muscle relaxing chemicals that reduce the stress on less elastic skin, lotions that attempt to restore moisture to drying skin, and surgical procedures that attempt to move sagging tissues to their original youthful position. Of course, not only does our appearance change, but so do our abilities. Youthful vigor is replaced by slower movement with less strength and energy.

The great question is “why?” Why should our bodies, with their incredible ability to heal, eventually stop maintaining themselves and begin to deteriorate? Perhaps “why” is a philosophical question that we can never answer, but “how” is now closer to our reach.

At the end of each chromosome within our cells is structure called a telomere. These telomeres are segments of DNA that are incompletely replicated each time the cell divides. After around 50 replications, the telomeres at the end of the chromosomes become so short that cell division ceases. This creates a phenomenon known as “senescence.” In other words, the telomere segment acts as a timer for aging. A longer telomere would allow for more cell divisions before senescence, and ideally we would like to be able to lengthen the telomere as we age to continue in a youthful state. The discovery of telomerase is…READ ON - Click Here to Download Full Article

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

About the Author
Jeffrey H. Spiegel, M.D., is Chief of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Boston Medical Center and holds academic appointments in the Departments of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery and Plastic Surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine.

For more information, visit Dr. Spiegel’s website and blog: http://www.drspiegel.com.

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