Credit: Getty Images

Three longevity-associated genes, given in various combinations, dramatically improved or completely reversed multiple age-related diseases in mice, according to a new study.

The results suggest that a holistic approach to age-related illness may improve overall health and lifespan, said researchers from Harvard Medical School.

“The results we saw were stunning, and suggest that holistically addressing aging via gene therapy could be more effective than the piecemeal approach that currently exists,” said lead author Noah Davidsohn, Ph.D.

The aging body tends to develop diseases like heart failure, kidney failure, diabetes, and obesity. Having one of these diseases increases the risk of developing others, the authors reported. In the new study, the researchers experimented with giving the three gene therapies in differing combinations. Each approach netted different benefits. Two of the three genes, given together, successfully treated all four of these health conditions, for example.  

The study was published in PNAS. The authors are also co-founders of Rejuvenate Bio, a biotechnology company that is pursuing gene therapy treatments for dogs.