MUSC The Catalyst
MUSC arial view


MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsCatalyst PDF FileMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause

MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


Global Health
Romanian researcher fights against aging

Editor's note: Welcome to the Global Health page. The purpose of this feature is to raise awareness of global health issues with an academic spirit to help improve the quality of care provided to patients. E-mail

by Cody Chiuzan, Ph.D., student
College of Graduate Studies
Situated in Southeastern Europe, halfway between the equator and the North Pole, Romania descends from the Roman Empire that defeated the native population in 106 A.D.
This Latin-language country changed  political regimes throughout the centuries, moving from a monarchy to communism and finally becoming a republic in 1989.  A member of the European Union and NATO, Romania has experienced a very steep transition to democracy. The only institution that survived and continues to be a stable “inner-motor” of the Romanian people is the churches. Romanian spirituality is reflected in the multitude of monasteries and churches, and in architectural attractions that are constructed on a monumental scale.
The premise that a young and balanced spirit builds a healthy, strong body can be seen through the efforts of one of the most famous researchers in the history of gerontology and geriatrics. Ana Aslan (1897-1988) was a Romanian scientist who dedicated her life to the fight against aging. In 1952, she invented and patented the H3 vitamin, known as Gerovital (from Greek word “gero” meaning old and the Latin word “vita” meaning life), based upon Novocain.
This medicine was designed to reduce the aging processes at molecular level and consequently reduce third-stage chronic and degenerative diseases. The product was tested on thousands of people and the results indicated that the aging process was slowed down by 40 percent. Critics claimed that Gerovital was nothing more than a drug with dangerous side effects such as low blood pressure, respiratory difficulties and convulsions. Overall, though, the launch of the product was an international success.
In the same year, Aslan founded the National Geriatrics and Gerontology Institute in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. The place was designed to be a resort for people seeking never-ending youth. Notables such as U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Charlie Chaplin, Salvador Dali, Indira Ghandi and Charles de Gaulle were among those who were treated with Gerovital. In 1980, the new, improved product was renamed Aslavital and entered mass production. Aslavital was used for prophylactic treatments of cerebral and cardiovascular aging processes, and physical and psychic asthenia or memory losses.
Since 1985, the original anti-age discovery is produced in tablets and vials for injections. The Romanian Ministry of Health extended the product to two cosmetic lines with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Today anybody can take advantage of this spectacular anti-aging treatment at the National Institute on the Black Sea, where under strict medical supervision, patients can combine therapy with facial treatments.
We are always looking for treatments and medicines able to turn back the clock, to put life into years and slow down the inevitable aging process. The Romanian discovery might not be the only solution, but it definitely deserves some consideration.

Beards for Babies
Last year’s Beards for Babies fundraiser raised almost $30,000 to help support pediatric resident training in critical care in the MUSC Simulation Center.

What is it?
A fundraiser started by the MUSC pediatric residents in 2009 to help raise money for worthwhile ventures within the Pediatric Residency Program, the MUSC Children’s Hospital Fund, and beyond.

When does it run?
March 1 to March 31

What does it support?

  • The Safe Kids program, which will provide bicycle helmets to  children in Charleston.
  • The Pediatric International Health elective, which will help allow pediatric resident doctors to travel overseas to provide care to children in underdeveloped countries.
  • The creation of a “Wilderness Medicine” elective, to help pediatric residents learn to care for patients in rural areas or those with specific environmental injuries (bites and stings, near-drowning, heat-related injuries, etc).

To participate
For males at MUSC and in the community, you must be clean shaven on March 1. From then on, grow a beard up until March 31, which you can trim as much as you like to remain professional, or not at all.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.