A team of professors and students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi have started a project to try and discover a new way to help our aging community.
They are looking for ways to help rejuvenate human cells.
The main focus of the project is to see if there is a way that they can improve the aging process. And it can be as simple as what we eat or sitting in a hot tub for 10 minutes.
Over the last two years,Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi life sciences professor Xavier Gonzales has been reaching out to the community, in particular aging people, to collect information. He interested in learning what do people eat, what type of exercise do they do, and how do they feel mentally.
“The reason behind all that is so I can get an idea of what are the things that impact specifically our community here in the Coastal Bend,” Gonzales said. ” A few of those things you can name off rapidly, one of them being diabetes, obesity, and the number one factor in this is falls.”
One way to do that is by looking at commercially available human cells.
“We are at a point to where trying to see how we can get these cells to keep rebuilding themselves so they don’t keep breaking down,” he said. “Using those known factors of nutrition, known factors of exercise, known factor of how the energy works inside the cell and how it gets moving.”
Older cells have a tendency to stop dividing as people age, which can lead to a host of degenerative diseases. The body cleanses itself of these cells most the time, but they can begin to pile up as an older immune system starts to break down.
“We are looking at a way to keep them strong,” Gonzales said. “With aging, you see the cells start to get weak and start breaking down. What we are doing is a way to stimulate them so they can be better moving, and they don’t break down so easily.”
Gonzales says these studies have the potential to lead to therapies which could help people age better.
“In the long run, we want to identify ways of treatment or suggestions of treatment for community members so they can stay healthy and keep their muscles strong and avoid things like falls,” Gonzales said.
So when will we see this technology at work?
Unfortunately, Gonzales predicts it’s at least 2 to 3 years away.
“Hopefully we can find something that will be some type of component or maybe some drug that they can take that will help them to keep that from progressing,” Gonzales said.