As people age, their cells become less efficient at getting rid of damaged protein — resulting in a buildup of toxic material that is especially pronounced in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Now, for the first time, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have prevented this age-related decline in an entire organ — the liver — and shown that, as a result, the livers of older animals functioned as well as they did when the animals were much younger. Published in the online edition of Nature Medicine, these findings suggest that therapies for boosting protein clearance might help stave off some of the declines in function that accompany old age. The study's senior author was Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo, associate professor in the departments of developmental & molecular biology, medicine and anatomy & structural biology at Einstein.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008