A new class of anti-ageing drugs has arrived – which ones really work?

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A assortment of drugs, including metformin, rapamycin and a big of caller senolytics, are yet showing committedness successful clearing retired zombie cells that origin age-related diseases. Here's what you request to know

By Graham Lawton

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I COME from a family pinch dodgy knees. My dad, 79, has had 2 complete knee replacements and my sister needs 1 astatine nan property of conscionable 54. My near knee hurts erstwhile I locomotion downstairs and clicks erstwhile I crook it – classical signs of nan age-related illness osteoarthritis, caused by deterioration and tear connected nan cartilage cushioning nan joint.

By nan clip I get to nan knee-replacement stage, however, I mightiness not request to spell nether nan knife. Instead, I dream to beryllium capable to swallow a fewer pills each truthful often and consciousness my knee symptom disappear.

Osteoarthritis isn’t conscionable down to deterioration and tear, but besides an accumulation of immoderate nasty cells, which onslaught nan knee associated from within. They are called senescent cells – aged aliases run-down cells that person reached nan extremity of their lives aliases suffered irreversible damage. They ought to dice and yet they don’t, alternatively lurking successful tissue, causing trouble.

Senescent cells are usually cleared retired by nan immune system, though that goes incorrect during ageing and they accumulate, dripping poison into their surroundings and turning different cells rogue. They are a leading origin of galore age-related conditions, not conscionable successful nan knees but besides successful nan heart, liver, muscles and brain.

No surprise, then, that researchers person been eyeing senescent cells for galore years arsenic a juicy target for efforts to slow, halt aliases moreover reverse ageing. Now, we person galore narcotics successful nan pipeline and immoderate tantalising results from quality trials. There is moreover dream that, by taking retired senescent cells, different causes of ageing will evaporate too.