Mayo Clinic Logo Each one of us may know at least one old person in the neighborhood suffering from recurrent health problems. Why is it so? Outlining age-related disorders, scientists at Mayo Clinic have shown that discarding cells which get collected as a person ages could prohibit or slow the development of age-related health conditions.

This analysis suggests that these deadbeat cells may contribute to aging and eliminating these could be one way to combat such effects. The team has presented a way by which individuals can stay healthy in spite of growing age. One cause for old age diseases could be senescent cells that accumulate with growing age, but the reason why these old cells cause disorders is unknown by professionals.

“By attacking these cells and what they produce, one day we may be able to break the link between aging mechanisms and predisposition to diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancers and dementia. There is potential for a fundamental change in the way we provide treatment for chronic diseases in older people,” remarked co-author James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., head of Mayo’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging and the Noaber Foundation Professor of Aging Research.

To test the mechanisms involved in the process, the experts programmed mice genetically in a way that senescent cells conserved a molecule namely caspase 8 that could be activated only when a drug with null influence on normal cells was present. After the transgenic mice were exposed to this drug, caspase 8 seemed to act in the senescent cells, making perforations in the cell membrane to objectively push the senescent cells to death.

Presumably, lifelong destruction of senescent cells will delay the beginning of age-related disorders like cataracts, muscle loss and weakness. Even in case of already established age-related disorders, removing these cells at a later stage of life could help in reducing the progression of diseases.

The research is published in the journal, Nature.