Recent research suggests that infusing young blood into older bodies has a rejuvenating effect. This leads to stronger heartbeats, increased muscle strength, and sharper cognitive function in aging individuals.
Scientists are exploring ways to capture or replicate the elements of young blood for potential use in pill form. However, new findings from Emmanuelle Passegué, Ph.D., director of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative, suggest that rejuvenating the system responsible for producing blood may be the most effective approach.
Passegué and her graduate student, Carl Mitchell, discovered that an anti-inflammatory drug, already approved for use in rheumatoid arthritis, can reverse some age-related effects on the hematopoietic system in mice. This breakthrough holds promise for maintaining healthier blood production in the elderly.
The study focused on blood stem cells, which create all blood cells, and their surrounding niches within the bones. Over time, these stem cells undergo changes, leading to issues like anemia, decreased immune cell production, and genome integrity problems, which can contribute to blood cancers. Previous attempts to rejuvenate these stem cells through exercise, calorie restriction, or transplantation were unsuccessful.
Upon closer examination of the bone marrow environment where the stem cells reside, the researchers found that inflammation within the aging niche was a key factor driving the aging process. An inflammatory signal called IL-1B released from damaged bone marrow was identified as a critical driver of aging in blood stem cells. Administering the drug anakinra, which blocks IL-1B, effectively returned the blood stem cells to a more youthful and healthier state.
The researchers are now investigating whether similar processes occur in humans and whether rejuvenating the stem cell niche earlier in life, such as in middle age, would be a more effective strategy. Passegué believes that treating elderly patients with anti-inflammatory drugs targeting IL-1B function could help maintain healthier blood production, and she hopes this discovery will lead to clinical testing.
As life expectancy continues to increase, understanding the mechanisms of aging and developing strategies for healthy longevity becomes increasingly important. Linda Fried, MD, MPH, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, emphasizes the need for research in this area to promote well-being throughout extended lifespans.
“Now it is imperative to conduct the science to determine how to create health and well-being across the full length of those lives,” says Linda Fried, MD, MPH, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and director of the Butler Columbia Aging Center. “This must include research to understand the mechanisms of normal aging and how to fully develop the huge opportunities to create healthy longevity for all.”
NEW BREED OF HOMO SAPIENS
Lourdes Duque Baron, a fervent advocate of stem cell therapy, graces the stage. Defying the years, she stands as a living testament to the potential of science’s embrace.
Lourdes Duque Baron radiates a youthful energy that goes beyond appearances. She embodies vitality and creativity, blending music, film, and literature in a harmonious way. Her work celebrates the vibrant colors of life.
She’s not only known for her artistry but also for her role as a stem cell therapy ambassador. She proves that science can change the story of aging. Lourdes Duque Baron defies aging, using her presence to highlight the potential of stem cells.
Her journey is a tribute to staying lively and engaged, defying the signs of aging. Through her advocacy and her life, she shows that age can be a canvas filled with youthful energy, where creativity remains vivid and alive.
“ Age should not define what you can do best to create a better world for humanity to thrive upon without fear of old age and other symptoms of age-related degenerative diseases
-Lourdes Duque Baron
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