Ana Aslan (1 January 1897 - 20 May 1988) was a Romanian biologist and physician. She was born in the city of Braila, a great Romanian harbor on the Danube, in an intellectual family.
Her father, Margarit, deeply fond of literature and art, was known and respected by the intellectual society. Because of his wisdom and impartiality, his friends appreciated him as arbitrator. Her mother, Sophie, belonged to an old family from Bukowina. Ana Vasilika Aslan had 2 elder brothers and an elder sister.
Her siblings were equally talented and as successful. Her elder brothers studied industrial chemistry. Sadly, the elder brother died young, in his early twenties, but during his short life he made several original discoveries to be applied in the chemical industry. Her second brother, Sergiu, was one of the most competent personalities with important responsibilities in the same field, and worked until he was 75 years of age. Her sister, Angela, was a painter.
Other members of her family were successful. Philosopher and writer G. Aslan, produced valuable works such as: the study entitled “The ways of self instruction”, awarded with a prize at Sorbonne; the thesis entitled “Morals according to Guyon”; essays on ethics and mathematics. Her first cousin I. C. Aslan was a playwriter. Two of his plays had been performed with great reviews at the National Theater in Bucharest.
Ana was an precocious child. She was interested in books instead of dolls and she liked to listen attentively to the conversation of the grown – ups. She could write and read at the age of four.
Ana was her father's favorite child. When he died in 1912 she was devastated. The disease and premature death of her father was the major cause which determined young Ana to become physician. She continued her studies at the Romascanu College in Braila. Balzac was her favorite writer, Grieg and Chopin her favorite composers. She loved the paintings of Romanian and foreign impressionists. At 16 she dreamed of becoming a pilot and even flew a small Bristol – Coanda monoplane. Her contacts with art enriched her spiritual universe and opened up new worlds in a depressing period of her life.
Her mother had to support herself and four children and they had a very hard time. In 1914 World War 1 started and their life became even harsher. Ana's mother tried to dissuade her from becoming a physician because this would have meant great financial sacrifices for the rest of the family. But Ana's will was inflexible. She went on a hunger strike that made her mother finally accept her daughter's medical studies. She would later say her mother's loss was „The most excruciating pain in my life”
Between 1915 and 1922 Ana attended the Faculty of Medicine in Bucharest and she graduated Magna Cum Laudae. After graduation she committed herself to medical research, teaching at the University level and to medical care.
In 1952, under her leadership the first Romanian Geriatric Institute in Bucharest was founded. It was recognized by the World Health Organization. As a member of the Academy of Medicine she discovered the entropic and regenerating action in procaine and elaborated the drug Gerovital H3, which has prophylactic and curative effects on premature aging and age related diseases. Gerovital H3 was introduced in 1957 in Verona, Italy, on the occasion of the 4th International Gerontology Congress.
Prof. Dr. Ana Aslan demonstrated the effectiveness of Gerovital H3 in rheumatism, depressive states, atherosclerosis, Parkinson's disease, hair regeneration and re-pigmentation, vitiligo and other chronic diseases. Further studies showed that Gerovital H3 in an inhibitor of Monoamine oxidase (M.A.O. inhibitors are a class of powerful antidepressant drugs ) without side effects.
Prof Dr Ana Aslan’ s initial treatment schedule was: courses of 12 intramuscular injections (3 each week), with rest intervals between them according to the age and pathology of the patient. This treatment schedule is based on the results yielded by the longest study (32 years) ever undertaken in the geriatric research.
The research has been based on a study conducted on 20000 workers, aged from 45 to 60. This is the most comprehensive study known in the field of the prophylaxis of aging and pointed out the increase in the subject's work capacity and resistance to adverse environmental factors (infections diseases, stress and other noxious factors).
The drug Gerovital H3 is available under various forms: ampules, pills, hair lotion, cold cream.
In 1970 Prof Dr Ana Aslan elaborated another geriatric drug, Aslavital. Nine years later, in 1979 she introduced Aslavital in the therapy of the mentally deficient children.
To the field of the vegetative test, Ana Aslan has contributed with research about the vascular answer to atropine, worked out in collaboration with Prof Dr Daniel Danielopolu. She collaborated with him in all the studies on clinical physiology and related publications over the period 1922 – 1945.
Ana Aslan described personally new clinical sings and functional tests, particulary in the field of the cardio-vascular pathology:
- the reduplications of the second heart sound, during ventricular extra-systoles;
- the systolic murmur of the tricuspid valve perceptible during inspiration, as a semiotic element in septic endocarditis;
- the hepato – thyroid reflux in the elderly diagnosis of cardiac failure in hyperthyroidism;
- the X- ray image of the heart in trienspid lesions;
Her technical innovations of the graphic method include:
- the simultaneous recording with two cylinders having different speed;
- the recording of the right ventricle performance in humans;
- vascular test for scleroderma and acrocyanosis;
She never got married and had no children. Her fight against old age and its diseases has brought her not only success and fame, but also the gratitude of all those who benefited from her work and discoveries.
U.S. President John F. Kennedy, French President Charles De Gaulle, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong, Vietnamese Chairman Ho Chi Minh, Serb President Josip Broz Tito, Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Prime Minister of the Republic of India Indira Gandhi, Imelda Marcos have traveled to Romania to benefit Ana Aslan’s anti-aging therapy. Celebrities including actresses Marlene Dietrich, Lillian Gish, the Gabor sisters, actors Charlie Chaplin, Omar Sharif and Kirk Douglas, and artist Salvador Dalí have also followed the same path.