Scientists find a way to reverse hair loss and wrinkles

elderly man sad that he's bald
Scientists at the University of Alabama have found a way to reverse wrinkles and hair loss. Photo credit: Getty

Finally, a cure for aging that really works. The only catch is that for now, you have to be a mouse.

Scientists at the University of Alabama have found a way to reverse wrinkles and hair loss.

First, they induced a mutation leading mitochondrial dysfunction - essentially preventing a cell from working properly by reducing or cutting off most of its energy supply.

This can lead to a number of afflictions, of which wrinkling and hair loss are perhaps the least serious.

But few people like visible signs of aging, so the discovery of a gene that can be switched off to prevent mitochondrial dysfunction will be welcome news.

"To our knowledge, this observation is unprecedented," said Keshav Singh, genetics professor at the university's School of Medicine.

"This mouse model should provide an unprecedented opportunity for the development of preventive and therapeutic drug development strategies to augment the mitochondrial functions for the treatment of aging-associated skin and hair pathology and other human diseases."

It took only four to eight weeks for the mice to look years beyond their time, and a similar amount of time to fix them.

Dr Singh called the result "surprising", but cautioned it only appears to apply to skin and hair - so don't expect to turn back decades of abuse on your liver, lungs and heart.

"Further experiments are required to determine whether phenotypic changes in other organs can also be reversed to wildtype level by restoration of mitrochondrial DNA."

The research was published in journal Cell Death & Disease.

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