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Eliminating cells could prevent disorders in older adults

Eliminating cells could prevent disorders in older adults
3rd November 2011

Eliminating cells that accumulate with age could prevent or delay the onset of age-related disorders and disabilities, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic.

In a new animal study it was shown that certain cells contribute to ageing and removing them could help patients stay healthier as they age.

Dr James Kirkland, co-author of the study, stated: "By attacking these cells and what they produce, one day we may be able to break the link between ageing mechanisms and predisposition to diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancers and dementia."

Scientists had previously discovered that cells undergo a limited number of divisions before they stop dividing, at which point the cells reach cellular senescence, where they neither die nor continue to multiply.

While in cellular senescence, the cells damage adjacent cells and cause tissue inflammation, which is linked to many age-related diseases.

Cellular senescence is primarily associated with cancer in older adults, but it is also the cause of many degenerative diseases.

However, in the young it is believed that cellular senescence can actually generate tumour suppressing proteins.

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