Researchers have created an adult stem cell based method for restoring strength to damaged skeletal muscles in the elderly.
Skeletal muscles are some of the most important muscles in the body, supporting functions such as sitting, standing, blinking and swallowing. In aging individuals, the function of these muscles significantly decreases. People lose fifteen percent of muscle mass every single year after the age of 75, a trend that is irreversible.
Through tracing the signaling pathways of the cells, the researchers determined that during aging, a subpopulation of stem cells begin to express a modification of a protein that inhibits their ability to grow and make new stem cells.