Scientists have made a major breakthrough in anti-ageing medication.
Researchers in Japan claim to have discovered a new medical agent capable of, essentially, turning back the clock.
The new agent can remove senescent cells, which causes age-related diseases like diabetes and kidney conditions.
A team from the University of Tokyo say its use can improve symptoms and will help prevent similar diseases.
Having experimented successfully on mice, the experts revealed their findings last week, Japan Times reported.
When cells are stressed they transform into senescent cells and accumulate as the body ages.
Previous research with elderly mice suggested it was possible to delay the development of some age-related disorders by removing those cells.
This is the first time a medical agent has been used.
Makoto Nakanishi, a lead author on the study, said: “It may also be effective for treating other age-associated diseases such as dementia.
“It would be great if we could try to carry out clinical trials (for such use) in the next five to 10 years.”
According to the scientists, the cells need the gene glutaminase 1, or GLS1, to survive.
When dosed with an inhibitor of GLS1, senescent cells in elderly mice were eliminated and kidney, lung and livers all improved as a result.
Improvements were also seen in mice with arteriosclerosis or diabetes.
It is hoped that the same results would be found in humans.
The articles abstract read: "Thus, targeting glutamine and associated metabolic processes could be an attractive, clinically feasible way to modify the ageing process."
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