ROLLING BACK THE MARCH OF TIME

When does a ripe old age become too much of a good thing?

It has become easier and easier to disguise your real age. You can take away your wrinkles by visiting a plastic surgeon or appoint a personal trainer to keep your body in shape. You can play Sudoku all day long to keep the neurons engaged, and follow a healthy eating plan. But you couldn’t roll back the clock. Until now.

Scientists are currently in the final stages of testing a drug called Glycorapamycin during human trials. In mice and dogs, the drug proved its power by slowing – and even reversing – the decline that tissues and organs exhibit when they age. This is completely revolutionary as age-related diseases like cancer, heart attacks and Alzheimer’s are kept at bay – giving you many more healthy and happy years before your time is up.

Never before has the FDA approved a drug treating something which is not a ‘disease’ (in this case aging), but with adult diapers outselling baby nappies in ever more developed countries, aging is becoming a societal ill. The load on governments to deal with the millions needing frail care and life support is getting out of control.

Pending the outcome of the drug trial, Phillipe Hujanji, chairperson of Dignity with Age, proposes that stratified medicine should be employed to ensure that only those who become the sickest and costliest citizens should be given the drug, “just to stop the entire system from collapsing,” he said. But what about business executives who could function well into their 90s and beyond – giving the global economy a much needed boost?

Age-reversing drugs are set to become the most regulated medicine of all time, as globally, governments are still figuring out how they would handle a mass youngification. By engineering the demographic pyramid we could fix some of humanity’s ailments, or speed its collapse; it depends on how we do it. You can be sure, however, that there will be unintended consequences… lots of them.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.