The researchers found that a unique protocol of treatments in a pressure chamber can reverse two major processes associated with aging and its illnesses: the shortening of telomeres –? protective regions located at both ends of every chromosome (the chromosomes contain the genetic material in the cell's nucleus) – and the accumulation of senescent (old and malfunctioning) cells in the body. Focusing on immune cells containing DNA, obtained from the participants' blood, the study discovered a significant lengthening – up to 38% – of the telomeres, as well as a decrease of up to 37% in the presence of senescent cells.
They exposed 35 healthy individuals aged 64 or over to a series of 60 hyperbaric sessions over a period of 90 days. Each participant provided blood samples at four different points in time – before, during, at the end and after the series of treatments, and the researchers analyzed various immune cells (cells containing DNA) in the blood and compared the results.
The findings indicated that the treatments actually reversed the aging process in two of its major aspects: The telomeres at the ends of the chromosomes grew longer instead of shorter, at a rate of 20%-38% for the different cell types; and the percentage of senescent cells in the overall cell population was reduced significantly – by 11%-37% depending on cell type.