What Regenerative Medicine can Do For Muscle Repair & RecoveryPosted by in Aging | Caregivers | Home Health Care
Say you recently started an exercise program which to your utter disbelief, you have managed to stick to for the better part of a year. You are following doctor’s orders and eating right: low-fat, clean, unprocessed whole foods, only lean meats, avoidance of animal fats altogether, with plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits. You eat fish twice a week. You are drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. You use alcohol sparingly and get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each 24-hour cycle. You take your omegas, vitamin C, B-vitamins and other herbal supplements. You have had your prostate exam (men) and visit your doctor the recommended number of times a year.
You are following all the directions and you look great on paper. But why aren’t you seeing results? With the moderate walking and swimming you have been adhering to several times a week now, you would appreciate just a little evidence of muscle tone.
What can you do to improve?
You are not alone. Muscle loss is one of the most common complaints among seniors. Getting back your muscle strength and seeing the results as an improvement in your physique may be possible.
- Rest to give your muscles enough time to recover especially if you have just started a workout regime.
- Apply cold and hot compress to your sore muscles.
- Avoid working out the same body part every day.
- Stretch the sore muscles for a minimum of 10sec each
According to Andrew Brack of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, “The average loss of muscle mass for the 80-year-old male is 40%. Elderly people will fall over and break bones. They go to the hospital where they lose more muscle strength and then don’t recover.”
But with modern science, there is hope on the horizon. One area of concentration that may be the ace in the hole is in muscle stem cell research. When we are young and exercising, our stem cells are stimulated to work by multiplying and dividing into new fibers that aid in muscle repair and recovery. Once the job is done, these cells rest and wait for the next time you exercise and call for their services again.
The same repair cells in the muscles of older people behave differently during exercise. Instead of resting, they continue multiplying and dividing until they die off. Muscles eventually run out of these helper cells and present your muscles with the challenge of repairing themselves without these key players.
Brack, along with his colleague Albert Basson, met at Queen’s College in London to look deeper into why muscle cells in seniors continued actively multiplying and dividing and eventually dying off, rather than resting, as they did in the young.
What they found were higher amounts of FGF2, a protein responsible for activating cell division. They presumed heightened levels of FGF2 are the culprit behind the exacerbated cell division in the elderly. As we age, we produce more FGF2 protein. They soon realized the key to reversing this process is in figuring out a way to halt FGF2 production.
One inhibitor of FGF2 is a gene known as SPRY2. What they ended up doing was testing their theory on older mice. After treating the mice with a common drug with SPRY2 in it, they arrived at their expected outcome: a decline of muscle stem cells in the elderly mice.
Basson remarked of the findings: “We think of this as the first study where we’ve identified something that goes wrong in the aging muscle. There are a number of these FGF inhibitor drugs used in clinics for cancer, so they certainly can be given to patients. But we’re still quite a ways off before we can think about using this drug.”
As we work our way toward gaining federal approvals for using FGF suppressants in human trials, stay positive and keep at it with your health and fitness regimen. Remember to savor each day and all time you share with your loved ones. And soon enough, regenerative medicines like this will be readily available for us to accomplish even greater feats!
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.