An international team of scientists have identified for the first time a key factor responsible for declining muscle repair during ageing, and discovered how to halt the process in mice with a common drug. Although an early study, the findings provide clues as to how muscles lose mass with age, which can result in weakness that affects mobility and may cause falls.
Dr Albert Basson, Senior Lecturer at the King’s College London Dental Institute, said: ‘Preventing or reversing muscle wasting in old age in humans is still a way off, but this study has for the first time revealed a process which could be responsible for age-related muscle wasting, which is extremely exciting. ‘The finding opens up the possibility that one day we could develop treatments to make old muscles young again. If we could do this, we may be able to enable people to live more mobile, independent lives as they age.’