Mayo Clinic researchers are currently testing and looking to start a clinical trial involving humans and senolytic agents. This is a new type of drugs which specifically target aging. If proven effective, these could come help delay, allegedly even prevent age-related conditions.
Senolytic Agents Target Senescent Cells
This new class of drugs is aimed at senescent cells, which are basically damaged cells that continue staying in the body instead of dying. Besides ceasing to divide, they also start secreting toxic chemicals. In turn, this could potentially harm other working cells.
Senescent cells can lead to many age-related chronic-diseases, for example, diabetes, osteoporosis, and dementia, among others. This is because such cells start accumulating in the body as a person gets older.
Senolytic agents might become a possible treatment method for such diseases as they would specifically target senescent cells, but without harming the healthy, normal cells of the body.
“The same processes that cause aging seem to be the root causes of age-related diseases,” said James Kirkland. “Why not target the root cause of all of these things? That would have been a pipe dream until a few years back.”
Kirkland is the lead author of a new paper and the director of the Mayo Clinic’s Kogod Center on Aging.
In the new study, he and his team outlined a series of potential human clinical trial scenarios.
The researchers created senolytic agents, a series of drugs, which target senescent cells and remove them. Despite the fact that current tests are returning very positive results, these were all conducted on animals.
In the new paper, besides offering potential screening methods and human trial ideas, the team also points out some of the problems that might appear in conducting them.
Namely, one of them is the extended lifespan of humans. Various other elements, which will have to be addressed by more research and studies, were also mentioned. The paper was released in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
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