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Turning back the clock on aging muscles?
Date:2/20/2014

ysfunctional stem cells in the aged population. Rather, it stimulates stem cells from old muscle tissues that are still functional to begin dividing and self-renewing."

"An important thing to stress here is that this is not a panacea for aging in general," warns Dr. Blau. The stem cell treatment would only be used to repair localized defects in relatively small muscles found in the hip area, the throat, or the muscles in the eye.

One of the significant challenges to elderly individuals who receive hip transplants, for instance, is the challenge of repairing skeletal muscles around the hip joint injured during surgery. The study points to the potential for future post-surgery therapies that could leave elderly hip replacement patients spry in a fraction of the time.

"Even a small, localized transplantation could have a huge impact on quality of life," Blau argues, and adds, "One big advantage is that because the cells would come from the person's own muscles there would be no problem with an immune response."

"It's a really new, exciting field," says Gilbert, who argues that the muscle stem cell field, which only began to isolate muscle stem cells for study within the last five years, is especially "wide open" in Toronto where "there are really impassioned clinician researchers who are interested in restoring strength in aging and disease.


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Contact: Erin Vollick
comm.ibbme@utoronto.ca
416-946-8019
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert  

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