New research shows what lies ahead

If Aubrey de Grey’s predictions are right, the first person who will live to see their 150th birthday has already been born. And the first person to live for 1,000 years could be less than 20 years younger.

A biomedical gerontologist and chief scientist of a foundation dedicated to longevity research, de Grey reckons that within his own lifetime doctors could have all the tools they need to “cure” aging — banishing diseases that come with it and extending life indefinitely.

“I’d say we have a 50/50 chance of bringing aging under what I’d call a decisive level of medical control within the next 25 years or so,” de Grey said in an interview before delivering a lecture at Britain’s Royal Institution academy of science.

“And what I mean by decisive is the same sort of medical control that we have over most infectious diseases today.”

De Grey sees a time when people will go to their doctors for regular “maintenance,” which by then will include gene therapies, stem cell therapies, immune stimulation and a range of other advanced medical techniques to keep them in good shape.

Although Dr. de Grey’s predictions, quoted here from a Reuters article, are bold ones, the incredible speed at which medical technology is advancing does not put it out of the realm of reason.

Many have challenged de Grey’s research, but a $20,000 reward offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to anyone that thoroughly disproved his theory was never claimed.

Will new therapies in the coming years mean that hospice care extends its current time limits as our bodies wear down more slowly? Might palliative care include gene therapy for both pain management and healing?

What do you think?