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Anxious After Watching “Old”? Relax!

Elena Milova reviews M. Night Shymalan's latest work.

Old Movie ReviewOld Movie Review
Rapid aging is horrifying, but in this retrospective, Elena Milova discusses why this movie scared her less than the rest of the audience.
 

Script

Spoiler alert! Several families go to a hotel in the tropics for a vacation. As any ordinary family, it has its problems – mom is cheating on dad, they plan a divorce, children don’t like their fights, and some medical issues are involved as well.

When they arrive at the hotel, the owner greets them in a very sweet way and shortly after suggests a visit to a secluded private beach where they can rest and relax. It turns out that some other people receive the same invitation. The driver drops them at the beach and leaves.

And then the most powerful part of the movie begins. One by one, the party members notice that there is something wrong with them. Children grow and become adults in a few hours, while the old person suddenly dies and others experience fast deterioration of health. They try to leave the beach but they can’t – the passage back through the rocks makes them feel so sick that they run back crying of pain. Apparently, they are destined to rest on the beach, get old, and die. One year of life lost in half of an hour.

I must applaud the movie producer for meticulously picturing the symptoms of age-related diseases in an accelerated version. Tumors developing in minutes, vision and hearing loss, memory loss likely associated with Alzheimer’s disease, deformation of the spine… and not only we can see the wrinkles covering the unfortunate travelers outside, the narration moves from one person to another, showing, how their vision becomes blurry and how they can’t hear the sounds clearly anymore. A heartbreaking picture of aging depriving people of one ability after the other over the course of just one day. By the end, most of the party members prematurely die of old age. You will know what happens to the others if you watch the movie so I won’t be spoiling that for you.

But I stop discussing the horror right there. I told you in the beginning, that, unlike other people I was not that scared and upset, and it is time to explain why.

You see, over the last 20 years, medical science has progressed a lot and our understanding of biological aging has too. 19 years ago, in 2002, and then 8 years ago, in 2013, two groups of leading researchers in biology described 9 distinctive processes that lead to aging and age-related diseases. Those are called the Hallmarks of Aging. Check www.lifespan.io/aging to read a brief summary of these root mechanisms.

Based on all the available knowledge, they concluded that targeting those root processes with medical interventions may lead to gaining control over biological aging. Yes, you heard me right. Control over biological aging also means an opportunity to get rid of age-related diseases for good.

20 years of animal studies have allowed researchers to achieve a 10-fold health and lifespan extension in simple animals like worms and 30% life extension in mice. These therapies have prolonged health in animals, slowed down, or even reversed age-related diseases, and that is why they could live much longer.

And two years ago, there was the first successful pilot clinical trial in humans, where an age reversal of 2 years was achieved. Check the link to the scientific publication with those results under this video.

Why am I telling you this scientific stuff? Because progress hasn’t stopped there, and now there are over a hundred official clinical trials of therapies targeting the root causes of aging happening around the globe.

Lifespan.io, whose channel you are watching, is a news outlet covering aging research. We are tracking around 60 of the most promising trials on our Rejuvenation Roadmap, which shows how the development of therapies is progressing and moving from studies in animals into the first, second, and third phases of clinical trials in people. Visit www.lifespan.io/roadmap to learn more about how efforts to bring aging under medical control are progressing.

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