Posted on 23 February 2021
Longevity briefs provides a short summary of novel research in biology, medicine, or biotechnology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.
Why is this research important: The thymus is known as the master gland of the immune system. It resides in your chest, beneath your breast bone, and is responsible for maintaining a functioning immune system. The thymus makes white blood cells called T lymphocytes (also called T cells). These are an important part of the body’s immune system, which helps us to fight infection.
With age, the function of the thymus declines. There is a school of thought that this degradation of the Thymus is responsible for the growing risk of age-related diseases as we get older.
What did the researchers do: The Thymus Regeneration, Immunorestoration, and Insulin Mitigation Extension (TRIIM) trial, published in 2019, found that a cocktail of three drugs; DHEA, growth hormone and metformin, aimed at rejuvenating the thymus in middle-aged males, resulted in biological age reversal of 2.5 years.
A research team led by Dr. Greg Fahy, at Intervene Immune, are running a follow up trial, TRIIM-X, to determine whether the age-reversal demonstrated in the initial trial can be replicated in a larger cohort. TRIIM-X will be recruiting around 85-100 participants, including: men, women and minorities between the ages of 51-65. Similar to the original TRIIM trial, TRIIM-X, will measure reversal of biological age via the use of epigenetic clocks. You can read more about about epigenetic clock here.
Chris, one of our esteemed research analysts, had the pleasure of chatting to Dr. Greg Fahy about the results of the TRIIM trial, and what he hopes from TRIIM-X. Check it out on the Gowing Life youtube channel.
Key takeaway(s) from this research: Recruitment for TRIIM-X is still underway, with many of the cohorts already enrolled. The trial design has had to be adapted to account for social distancing measures, however the team is hopeful to complete the trial by October 2022. We eagerly await the results!
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