UNM researchers make breakthrough on aging symptoms | KOB.com
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UNM researchers make breakthrough on aging symptoms

Morgan Aguilar
February 21, 2017 09:49 AM

Researchers at the UNM Cancer Center have made a surprising discovery about aging.

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Dr. Eric Prossnitz says as we age, tissue becomes scarred and healthy cells become damaged. That can lead common diseases like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

Prossnitz and his team are working on a drug that could help people live longer with some of these chronic diseases. They accidentally discovered some benefits to blocking a protein called GPER.

“We undertook studies to then remove, delete this protein from mice and what we expected was that as they age, the manifestations of aging would be worse. What we found was the exact opposite which was that their cardiovascular system was extremely healthy,” said Prossnitz.

The team created a drug that blocks GPER. However, Prossnitz says it is not a drug you would take preventatively for a long time because there are benefits to having GPER in the body when a person is healthy.

This discovery is still in the beginning stages of being studied. Prossnitz says it could be many years before we see how well the drug works on humans. 

"These things are always quite a ways off. Drug development is very complicated, very costly," said Prossnitz.
 

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Morgan Aguilar

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