Fighting against aging has always felt like something unattainable. Until now, when scientists have tested a drug on patients and got “impressive results.”
It’s been years since scientists have learned about senescent cells that accumulate in the body, causing symptoms like frailty and arthritis and diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Senescent cells are also called zombie cells. They are cells which haven’t died yet and cannot be cleared by the body. Instead of being replaced by other new cells, they remain there and cannot help repair tissue or carry the functions they used to. The body starts gradually degrading because it cannot repair itself.
Aging Process Is Reversed
Until now, scientists have tested their theories on animals and removed the cells. Results showed that the aging process could be reversed, it extended the life of their subjects and restored their youth.
Human trials have begun for the first time in the U.S. Scientists gave 14 pensioners the drug that should clear away the zombie cells. After a three-week trial, the participants began walking faster, scored better in ability tests and getting up from a chair was easier.
The senior author of the study, Mayo Clinic’s Dr. James Kirkland, stated:
“This is like a glimmer that it might actually work. The results were impressive. All 14 got better in their functional ability. We know there are at least 20 serious conditions that senescent cells are implicated in. We’re starting with the most serious, but then we hope to move on to the rest. The same approach should work in multiple diseases.”
Zombie Cells Cleared in 30 Minutes!
Dr. Kirkland added that this is where the human studies begin and they have no idea what happens next. Now they’re working on full trials.
The treatment includes a drug called dasatinib which is safe and treats leukemia patients by killing cancer cells. The other ingredient is a plant pigment called quercetin. This combination allowed the clearing of the zombie cells in just 30 minutes, and they were all gone in 24 hours.
Dr. Kirkland added that the treatment has a “hit-and-run effect”:
“The drug starts working quickly and we would ideally like to be able to give it just once a month.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.