In my clinical work as a geriatrician one of the things that I and my colleagues often see in older people is a condition that we call frailty and that’s a state that many people have seen in their older relatives or other people with illness where individuals have trouble with their muscle strength.
They have trouble getting around , they feel weak and this syndrome that we call frailty is associated with very poor outcomes and a lot of functional disability and distress for our patients.
Keys To Reducing Inflammation by Dr Miguel Insight : 1
So one of the things that we want to do is to find some kind of treatment for this other than prescribing better wheelchairs or Walker’s or other kinds of things that we are stuck with.
Now that are sort of band-aid solutions we started by taking senescent cells from people growing them in culture and flasks and looking at what they produced, and we found as others had shown before us that these cells were producing inflammatory factors and other things that could underlie frailty.
So we looked at the pathways that could be involved in doing this, and we noted that there’s a particular place in that pathway we might be able to direct drugs towards that would prevent these cells from producing things that underlie frailty.
So we did a lot of work in cell culture to begin with using these particular drugs “dark inhibitors” we call them, and we found that they resulted in decreased release of the factors by senescent cells at least in culture dishes that can underlie frailty and these were human cells.
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We next moved to testing whether these same drugs could be given to mice to reduce the kinds of factors that senescent cells produce, and we found that indeed was the case, and then we took this a step further, and we looked at very old mice equivalent to 90 year old people, and we did a bunch of things with those mice looking at whether they’re frail.
So we saw how they were able to run on a treadmill or what their strength was like what their activity was like, and we found that this aging mouse model recapitulated or resembled in many ways the things that we see in human frailty.
We gave these drugs to those mice to these very old mice that had this Ferrari syndrome, and we found quite remarkable improvement in their function and this you know lasted for a couple of months, it looks like it might be possible to use these drugs and not only these drugs that affect the things that senescent cells produce but also drugs that we recently published.
Even selectively killing senescent cells in mice as a means of moving towards treatments for frailty and for the aged-related “chronic diseases” that are called that account for the bulk of morbidity and health costs and mortality in our population we’re part of a network of 18 major aging centers across the US, that we’ve helped to coordinate.
We’ve got partners in the European Union working in this area as well We’re coming up with strategies as a group across the country and internationally to develop the way to develop approaches for doing clinical trials of drugs that target fundamental aging processes.
To try to improve health span our goal is not to try to increase lifespan necessarily and certainly not to increase lifespan at all costs our goal is to try to enhance health spin the period during life when people are feeling are independent and free of chronic disease and can do what they want basically and don’t rely on a lot of supports and aids.
So this drug approach and the others we are developing look like they might hold some promise in reaching this goal, For more information about this article kindly contact Dr. Miguel on his Instagram page for further clarification Find Dr. Miguel on MIQUEL