Tuesday July 17, 2018

Stem Cells May Help To Stay Strong In Old Age

For the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers investigated the number of mutations that accumulate in the muscle's stem cells (satellite cells)

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Stem cells
As we grow older, our muscular function declines. So, according to the researchers, this discovery may result in new medication to build stronger muscles even when in old age. Pixabay
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Researchers have found how an unexpectedly high number of mutations in the stem cells of muscles impair cell regeneration.

For the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers investigated the number of mutations that accumulate in the muscle’s stem cells (satellite cells).

ALSO READ: Treating blindness with stem cell therapy

“What is most surprising is the high number of mutations. We have seen how a healthy 70-year-old has accumulated more than 1,000 mutations in each stem cell in the muscle, and that these mutations are not random but there are certain regions that are better protected,” said co-author Maria Eriksson, professor at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet.

Stem cells
The study was performed using single stem cells cultivated to provide sufficient DNA for whole genome sequencing. Pixabay

The mutations occur during natural cell division, and the regions that are protected are those that are important for the function or survival of the cells. Nonetheless, the researchers were able to identify that this protection declines with age.

ALSO READ: Scientists have grown Human Cells inside Pig Embryos with goal of growing Livers, other Human Organs in Animals

“We can demonstrate that this protection diminishes the older you become, indicating an impairment in the cell’s capacity to repair their DNA. And this is something we should be able to influence with new drugs,” said Eriksson.

“We achieved this in the skeletal muscle tissue, which is absolutely unique. We have also found that there is a very little overlap of mutations, despite the cells being located close to each other, representing an extremely complex mutational burden,” the researcher noted. (IANS)

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Growing Old? Enjoy Life to Stay Fit

People with low well-being were more than three times as likely as their positive counterparts to develop problems in their daily physical activities

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Growing Old? Enjoy Life to Stay Fit
Growing Old? Enjoy Life to Stay Fit. Pixabay

Enjoying life as you grow old not only makes you happy, it also helps you walk faster and stay fit.

Older people who enjoy life more show slower declines in physical function as they age in comparison with people who enjoy life less, says a study.

“Our research shows that older people enjoying life are less likely to develop impairments in activities of daily living such as dressing or getting in or out of bed, and their walking speed declines at a slower rate than those who enjoy life less,” said Andrew Steptoe from University College London (UCL), Britain.

A study of 3,199 men and women aged 60 years or over looked at the link between positive well-being and physical well-being – following participants over eight years.

Researchers assessed participants’ enjoyment of life with a four-point scale: “I enjoy the things that I do”, “I enjoy being in the company of others”, “On balance, I look back on my life with a sense of happiness” and “I feel full of energy these days”.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“Our results provide further evidence that enjoyment of life is relevant to the future disability and mobility of older people,” Steptoe added.

Participants in the 60-69-year bracket had higher levels of well-being as did those with higher socio-economic status and education and those who were married and working.

Not surprisingly, people with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, stroke and depression had lower levels of enjoyment of life, the study noted.

Also Read: Good Heart Health Prevents Frailty in Old Age

People with low well-being were more than three times as likely as their positive counterparts to develop problems in their daily physical activities.

Efforts to enhance well-being at older ages may have benefits to society and health care systems, said the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. (IANS)