Los Angeles Times
by Melissa Healy
It’s a science called senolytics — the dissolution or gradual decline of old age. In research published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, a group led by Mayo Clinic anti-aging researcher James Kirkland not only offers a clear look at the power of senescent cells to drive the aging process, but also a pharmaceutical cocktail that, in mice at least, can slow and even reverse it… Does this suggest the researchers have found a fountain of youth? No, said Kirkland, who is a geriatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “And we’re not looking for one.” The objective, he said, is not so much to extend the human lifespan as to extend the “healthspan” — the period during which a person can live a life largely free of disease or other impairments.
Newsweek, A Cure For Aging? Clinical Trials Will Begin In Humans by Lisa Spear — Researchers at the Mayo Clinic think they have identified a rogue cell, which works like a bacteria in the body, that could cause most age-related illnesses. These cells are called senescent cells, and they build up over time. If someone has too many of them, these cells can refuse to die and go on a destructive rampage within the human body, killing other cells that they come in contact with. Mayo Clinic scientists found that they could destroy senescent cells to stop and even reverse the ill effects of aging in rodents. The findings published on Monday in Nature Medicine showed that the mice lived up to 36 percent longer. “This is exciting research,” said Felipe Sierra, director of the National Institute of Aging’s Division of Aging Biology. “Additional research will be necessary to determine if compounds, like the one used in this study, are safe and effective in clinical trials with people."
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Context: Bob Nellis and the media team shared Dr. Kirkland's study and press release with several national and local writers in advance of it being published and it resulted in many media hits. You can read more about the announcement on Mayo Clinic News Network.
Contact: Bob Nellis