Posted on 8 June 2023
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As we age, an increasing number of our cells enter a dysfunctional state called senescence, in which they are no longer able to divide or function correctly. In younger people, these cells get destroyed and removed for the greater good, but this process doesn’t work so well in older age. The resulting accumulation of senescent cells prevents our organs from functioning properly, and can increase the risk of age-related diseases like cancer.
Some drugs have the ability to inhibit senescence or to destroy senescent cells, and might be able to restore our organs to a more youthful state. One of the most promising of these compounds is actually a pre-existing cancer drug called dasatinib. There are probably other approved drugs out there with anti-senescence properties just waiting to be found.
Experiment is a crowdfunding platform for small scientific projects. The SENS Research Foundation is using Experiment to raise a modest amount, with the goal of screening over 1600 FDA-approved drugs for the ability to inhibit senescence. Their page does a good job of explaining the importance of this research. If you want to learn more about senescence and the role it plays in the ageing process, check out our in-depth article on the subject. We also have an article on the state of research concerning senescent cells and the drugs that target them, from the mouth of expert Professor Judith Campisi.
Photo by Terry Vlisidis, Upslash