by Sean Martin
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic, a medical research centre based in Minnesota, US, have developed anti-ageing drugs called ‘senolytics’ which can wash away senescent cells – otherwise known as zombie cells as they no longer work to their full potential. These senescent cells are then replaced by newer cells which can help slow down the ageing process, scientists found. Researchers at the clinic have been running experiments on mice and found their life had been extended by 36 percent, which is the equivalent of adding around 30 years to a human life.
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Context: The presence of senescent or dysfunctional cells can make young mice age faster. And using senolytic drugs in elderly mice to remove these rogue cells can improve health and extend life. These findings from Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators provide a foundation on which to move forward in this area of aging research. The results appear in Nature Medicine. “We can say with certainty that senescent cells can cause health problems in young mice, including causing physical dysfunction and lowering survival rates, and that the use of senolytics can significantly improve both health span and life span in much older naturally aged animals,” says James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic geriatrics researcher who heads Mayo Clinic’s Kogod Center on Aging. Dr. Kirkland is senior author of the study. You can read more about the research on Mayo Clinic News Network.