Mayo Clinic is known to promote and run several clinical trials and researches. Kare11 reports on a new anti-aging study:
Mayo Clinic researchers come through with groundbreaking anti-aging study
ROCHESTER, Minn. — From the constant barrage of commercials for anti-wrinkle creams, to a pharmaceutical industry that thrives on the desire for delayed aging — there’s no question our commitment to stopping the signs and symptoms of aging.
And this week, there seems to be a chance for an answer — one found in a laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
“It provides a new tool to interfere with the aging process and age-related diseases, and there aren’t so many tools available right now,” said Dr. Jan van Deursen, a professor of pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic.
This week, van Deursen and his colleagues published a study in the journal Nature, documenting how a certain “group” of cells may be responsible for the signs and diseases of aging.
“They’re called senescent cells,” van Deursen said from his laboratory on Thursday, “they [originally] accumulate as a defense against cancer.”
But according to van Deursen’s findings, the cells can linger beyond their beneficial purpose to eventually cause harm to neighboring cells.
“They make the life of the neighboring cells, the surrounding cells of the neighborhood, more or less, pretty miserable,” van Deursen said.
In a study involving a group of mice, van Deursen’s team found the cells can cause inflammation that can lead to some typical age-related diseases, including muscle degeneration, cataracts and wrinkles.
But the team also discovered a solution for the cells and their detrimental effects. By injecting the mice with a drug, they were able to cause the senescent cells to self-destruct. That, in turn, all but completely halted the signs and illnesses of aging in the mice.
“All these three age-related diseases were strongly delayed. Some animals didn’t even develop them at all,” van Deursen said.
Anti-aging experts around the country have praised the study and its findings, suggesting that it provides a brand new pathway to explore. Doctors feel it may even help to combat other age-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Van Deursen expects years of additional research into his laboratory’s findings — by both his team and that of other laboratories.
Eventually, he hopes the findings result in the development of a new drug or therapy to help defeat aging signs. He predicts that may take the form of either a drug that will directly target the senescent cells or a therapy that helps boost the immune system during old age (thereby helping that system destroy the cells, as it more effectively does in younger age).
Bottom line, van Deursen suggests the goal is not to extend life but to improve the quality of life among the elderly.
“It provides a new tool to interfere with the aging process and age-related diseases and there aren’t so many tools available right now,” he said.
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