I COME from a household with dodgy knees. My dad, 79, has had two full knee replacements and my sister wants one on the age of simply 54. My left knee hurts after I stroll downstairs and clicks after I bend it – traditional indicators of the age-related illness osteoarthritis, brought on by put on and tear on the cartilage cushioning the joint.
By the point I get to the knee-replacement stage, nonetheless, I won’t have to go beneath the knife. As a substitute, I hope to have the ability to swallow a couple of tablets sometimes and really feel my knee ache disappear.
Osteoarthritis isn’t simply right down to put on and tear, but additionally an accumulation of some nasty cells, which assault the knee joint from inside. They’re known as senescent cells – outdated or run-down cells which have reached the tip of their lives or suffered irreversible harm. They must die and but they don’t, as an alternative lurking in tissue, inflicting bother.
Senescent cells are usually cleared out by the immune system, although that goes fallacious throughout ageing and so they accumulate, dripping poison into their environment and turning different cells rogue. They’re a number one reason for quite a few age-related circumstances, not simply within the knees but additionally within the coronary heart, liver, muscle tissue and mind.
No shock, then, that researchers have been eyeing senescent cells for a few years as a juicy goal for efforts to gradual, halt and even reverse ageing. Now, we have now quite a few medication within the pipeline and a few tantalising outcomes from human trials. There’s even hope that, by taking out senescent cells, different causes of ageing will evaporate too.