ROCHESTER, Minn. - At the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, there's a thrilling thought: Could 100 one day be the new 60?
"The ideal would be is if people could live to be 90 or 100 and feel like they're 50 or 60," said Dr. James Kirkland, a geriatrics researcher at Mayo Clinic who heads the Kogod Center on Aging.
It sounds impossible, yet Kirkland and his Mayo team are working on a solution by targeting particular cells in our bodies. They're called "senescent cells." Everyone has them and they're at the center of our chronic diseases like cancer, dementia, diabetes and cardiac diseases.
"They tend to accumulate with increasing age and they are also present at the sites of major chronic diseases."
So, KIrkland and his team thought, how can we safely get rid of these dysfunctional cells?
Senolytic drugs may be the answer.
Kirkland's team tested mice and discovered that these drugs allowed the senescent cells to "self-destruct" without damaging other healthy cells. In other words, older mice looked younger and became healthier.
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