Osteoporosis treatments could be on the way after scientists identify aging gene – iNews

By daniellenierenberg

Hopes for new treatments for osteoporosis and cartilage degeneration have been raised after scientists identified a gene that plays a key role in the ageing of bone, tendon, ligament and cartilage.

The researchers hope that they can use their findings to slow down treat age-related diseases connected to the skeletal system by creating treatments that slow down the ageing process behind them.

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Our findings are novel and significant in finding a critical answer to how skeletal tissues lose their capability to maintain their properties and functions when we age, said Wan-Ju Li, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

We can also develop new pharmacological therapies to treat age-associated diseases based on our findings [although] it will take a few years before we can see the application happens, he said.

The study is published in the journal Stem Cells. The journals editor-in-chief, Jan Nolta, of the University of California at Davis, said the discovery is a very important accomplishment.

Researchers said it is possible that the same mechanism that has been identified for the skeletal system may also be present in neural stem cells and cardic stem cells, where it may play a role in causing diseases associated with those areas of the body.

We dont know if the molecule and mechanism we have identified in the paper also play the same role in other stem cells, such as neural stem cells and cardiac stem cells, in causing Parkinsons disease and heart diseases, respectively, since we havent tested it with these cells, Dr Lin said.

But I am sure that other scientists in the fields of aging and brain and heart will follow our study to answer these questions in the future, Dr Lin said.

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