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Aug 21, 2022

How Studying Cellular Senescence Can Help Researchers Learn to Delay Aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Reaching the golden years doesn’t always feel so golden. Growing older introduces a range of health challenges, including being at increased risk for developing chronic diseases and having reduced immunity to infection. But while scientists have traditionally viewed the unpleasant aspects of aging as inevitable, new research could reveal how to substantially delay aging and improve the health of older individuals.

Chronic inflammation, one of the major hallmarks of aging, is thought to be partly caused by senescent cells that may accumulate in older individuals. Now, Yale researchers have received a grant [U54-AG079759] from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund’s Cellular Senescence Network Program (SenNet) to study these specialized cells. The grant will further scientists’ knowledge of the mechanisms behind aging and potential therapies for dampening inflammation associated with old age. The SenNet is based on ‘Geroscience,’ an approach that intersects basic aging biology, chronic disease, and health to understand the cellular mechanisms that make aging a major risk factor for common chronic conditions of older people. Support by the NIH Common Fund shows the NIH’s commitment to Geroscience as a complex, high priority topic in biomedical research.

“A number of diseases that increase in older people may have a unifying underlying mechanism having to do with senescence,” says Ruth Montgomery, PhD, professor of medicine and of epidemiology (microbial diseases), and co-PI of the project. “If we are able to understand and address this, we may be able to reduce the incidence of a number of diseases, including cancers and heart diseases.”

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