Yes, we probably can stimulate more repair of muscle cells in older people.
Berkeley — A study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, has identified critical biochemical pathways linked to the aging of human muscle. By manipulating these pathways, the researchers were able to turn back the clock on old human muscle, restoring its ability to repair and rebuild itself. The findings will be reported in the Sept. 30 issue of the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, a peer-reviewed, scientific publication of the European Molecular Biology Organization.
The key point from this post in FuturePundit is that, yes we can probably induce more repair to muscle cells in older people, but there is almost always a trade off. Maybe we should call it the ‘trade-off principle’ of research, and apply it systematically.
If the body is turning down MAPK and suppressing stem cells as we age there’s probably a constructive reason for this. The most obvious possibility: the repair stem cells are turned down because as they age they become higher risks for turning cancerous. If that is the case (and I think it likely) then efforts to turn up stem cells to do more repair will put us at greater risk of cancer. Therefore we really need effective ways to kill pre-cancerous and cancerous cells as essential capabilities in order to do rejuvenation therapies.