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Researchers are investigating whether medication can improve health aspects of old age
It is part of the course of life that the human body is getting older. Researchers have now found that a drug could successfully help reverse the aspects of aging. Old mice have already been treated with the drug to restore their stamina and even organ functions.
When investigating, the doctors at the Erasmus University Medical Center found that a drug can reverse certain aspects of aging. The doctors published the results of their study in the medical journal "Cell".
Expansion of tests planned for human processes
The experts are now planning to study the effects of the drug on human processes. The scientists hope to find an effective treatment against signs of aging.
Drug kills senescent cells
The approach of treatment works by flushing out so-called retired or senescent cells in the body that have already stopped dividing. Such cells naturally multiply as they age. They have a role in wound healing and in fighting tumors, the researchers explain. The senescent cells release substances that can cause inflammation and are associated with aging. The doctors have now developed a drug that selectively kills senescent cells by disturbing the chemical balance.
Effects on aging processes
The drug has been tested on old mice (equivalent to 90 human years in mouse years). These experimental mice have been genetically programmed to age very quickly. The results of the current study showed that the treatment was able to restore liver function, the scientists explain. In addition, the mice could run twice as long compared to their mileage before treatment.
No side effects have been identified so far
There were many other effects, but these did not appear to affect all mice, the doctors say. The drug was administered to the mice three times a week. The experiment went on for almost a year. There were no noticeable signs of side effects, but unfortunately mice do not speak, says author Dr. de Keizer from the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. However, it has already been assumed that taking the drug has little to no effect on normal tissue.
Human studies must be performed
The experiments with mice are almost complete. Now scientists can focus on certain age-related diseases, such as osteoporosis. The results found must now be repeated on human subjects. Until more high quality research is done, the results should be viewed with caution, the experts advise.
Will the drug soon be available as a dietary supplement?
It would not be surprising if different manufacturers tried to benefit from the effects found. This could mean that in the future we will be able to freely acquire this peptide as a dietary supplement, the doctors speculate.
More research is needed
However, more research is needed to investigate the safety of the drug in more detail. In addition, the appropriate group of patients must be found who can benefit from these peptides in a timely manner. This will eventually make it possible for the positive effects to be offered at an affordable price, the researchers hope. (as)