Forever Young

Call them intrepid, call them insane—just don’t call them old. Here are four ways local scientists and celebrities have gone the extra mile (and then some) to stop time from marching on.

The Cyber Human

Neuroscientist Randal Koene is gunning to become the first person to upload his entire brain to a computer, translating every circuit and neural function into code. If he succeeds, he’ll effectively live forever in the world of microchips and silicon. Now based in San Francisco, the former Boston University professor cofounded the Neural Engineering Corporation of Massachusetts, which is at work on a Virtual Brain Laboratory that would give scientists highly accurate models to research and study.

The Cold Case

After his death in 2002, Red Sox legend Ted Williams was cryogenically frozen—a process by which the body is exposed to such extreme cold that tissues are preserved, in hopes that the individual can eventually be brought back to life. If Williams is ever successfully resuscitated, however, he probably won’t come back for a peaceful round two: Alcor, the company that treated him, reportedly froze his head and his body separately, which it says may make revival more attainable. In any case, it can’t be comfortable.

The Pill Popper

Leonard Guarente, who leads MIT’s Science of Aging lab, is behind Basis, a so-called Fountain of Youth pill that could revolutionize our golden years by preserving cellular function well enough to ward off chronic conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, into old age. The catch? Because the capsules’ active compounds are naturally occurring and sold individually as supplements, the maybe-miracle has gone to market without FDA approval. You may not be willing to risk it, but Guarente is: He’s been taking the pills for two years.

The Medicine Hunter

Chris Kilham, a botanicals expert who calls himself the “Medicine Hunter,” traverses the globe in search of herbal remedies, many of them promising longevity. In September, the Bay State resident’s travels brought him to Thailand’s Chiang Rai region, where locals sip tea brewed from jiaogulan, an “immortality herb” rumored to provide a mega dose of antioxidants. Kilham’s also ventured to China for schisandra, a berry said to stall aging, and searched India for ashwagandha, a plant some claim “imbues the user with life itself.”


Quick Fixes

You may not be able to turn back time, but these cutting-edge cosmetic procedures will make it look like you did. —Hallie Smith

Chin up. If your jawline has seen better days, make an appointment with Newton plastic surgeon Joseph Russo. His new Kybella treatment, a jowl-busting, FDA-approved injectable, uses deoxycholic acid to destroy existing fat cells and prevent the body from storing fat in the future. Patients report seeing a smoother, elevated, and better-defined chin and jawline in as few as one or two treatments.

$1,200, josepharussomd.com.

The Vampire Facelift, offered by Peabody’s Skin Deep Laser Services, doesn’t involve fangs, but it’s still pretty scary. A doctor first draws blood, then puts it through a centrifuge to extract the platelets. The platelets are then added to dermal fillers, which are re-injected into the skin to trigger collagen production and growth of blood vessels and fatty tissues, leaving the face refreshed and rejuvenated.

Starting at $1,200, skindeep-ma.com.

For those seeking a more-intimate reversal of time, cosmetic surgeon Mark Lowney offers GynePulse Incisionless Vaginoplasty, a laser-based procedure, in his Fall River offices. In only an hour, Lowney—the only doctor in New England to perform GIV—promises to tighten, reshape, and restore your vagina, leading to better sex, sensation, and appearance.

$6,900, massachusettscosmetic.com.

Forget Rogaine—robots may be the answer to hair loss. The Artas Robotic System, available at cosmetic surgeon Robert Leonard’s Newton office, begins with infrared cameras that analyze your scalp and create blueprints for precise hair restoration. Then the bot goes to work, identifying and harvesting optimal hair follicles before transplantation. Results promise to be permanent.

Starts at $7,500, hairdr.com.

 

See more from our 2016 Top Doctors package.


Jamie Ducharme Jamie Ducharme, Contributor jducharme@bostonmagazine.com