Stem Cells Reverse Aging

University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA) scientists improved the lifespan of mice with an aging disease (progeria) by injecting them with normal stem cells, prolonging their lifespan by two to three times.  Importantly, the stem cells, which were derived from the muscle of young, healthy rodents, did not migrate to other tissue in the body and appear to have secreted a growth factor, or protein, that delayed the aging process. Instead of losing muscle mass and moving slowly, the animals grew as large as normal ones.  Writing that: “These results establish that adult stem/progenitor cell dysfunction contributes to ageing-related degeneration and suggests a therapeutic potential of post-natal stem cells to extend health,” the study authors are hopeful the animal research can be translated to human application.

Mitra Lavasani, Andria R. Robinson, Aiping Lu, Minjung Song, Laura J. Niedernhofer, Johnny Huard, et al.  “Muscle-derived stem/progenitor cell dysfunction limits healthspan and lifespan in a murine progeria model.” Nature Communications 3, 3 January 2012.

Health Headlines

Cognitive Decline Begins in Mid-Life

Large-scale prospective study reveals that on all cognitive measures except vocabulary, linear declines start as early as age 45.

Long-Term Excess Weight Raises Diabetes Risk

Men and women who have a high body mass index (BMI) for a long period of time are at an increased risk of type-2 diabetes

Music Helps to Alleviate Pain

Listening to music lessens the pain response, particularly among people who are anxious about undergoing a medical procedure.

Hormone Identified as Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease

Adiponectin, a hormone derived from visceral fat, may play a role as a risk factor for development of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in women.

Kiwifruit Kicks the Common Cold

New Zealand team reports that consumption of gold kiwifruit helps to reduce the severity of the symptoms of the common cold.

Stem Cells Reverse Aging

University of Pittsburgh (US) scientists improved the lifespan of mice with an aging disease by injecting them with normal stem cells.

Vitamins & Healthy Fats Promote Mental Acuity

A diet rich in key vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids helps to promote cognitive function, as well as reduce brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Silent Strokes Linked to Memory Loss

Small spots of dead brain cells may be a significant and underidentified cause of memory loss in older adults.

Support Network Essential to Achieve Goals

Enlisting a friend can significantly improve a person’s chances of achieving goals in life.

Cellular Processes in Cancers Revealed

Discovery in DNA repair mechanism may lead to innovative approaches to diagnose and treat cancers.