Today is just a short post pondering an article I recently read about a type of bone hormone which has been found to rejuvenate muscle. I was intrigued by this and I would like to hear your thoughts on this also.
The gist of the article is that a hormone has been found which can rejuvenate the muscles of elderly mice. It was discovered – through Columbia University, that Osteocalcin (featured image), which is a hormone secreted by bones, improves the burning of fuel and production of energy in muscle. When a group of researchers injected this hormone into old mice, they found that they were more inclined to run, even as far as their younger relatives, despite being a lot older. The control group to this; older mice that had not been injected with the hormone, were not able to run as far as this (Cell Metabolism, DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2016.05.004).
It is known that Osteocalcin levels decline with age in all mammals, resulting in a loss of muscle mass. The next step is to therefore see if the hormone can improve muscle function in people too.
I find this research interesting because of the implications it could have on treating diseases which result in loss of muscle mass or function. This research is of course in it’s preliminary stages, but I wonder if eventually, this could either cure this type of disease or be used to dramatically improve a patient’s lifestyle.
These could be diseases such as those of the nervous system which cause a loss in muscle function;
- Bell’s palsy
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
Take neuropathy for example, which is a disease of the peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness. This if often linked with diabetes. Think about what an amazing treatment this could be for people. If it works, then it would mean people no longer have these issues which can often be incredibly painful. It would be even more beneficial to sufferers of ALS, which can potentially be fatal. It is rapidly progressive and attacks the neurological nerve cells.
The bottom line is that this could save lives. I really hope for suffers of these type of diseases that this type of treatment is further investigated and most importantly, that it works. It is not yet known if this sort of treatment would be painless, but I will definitely keep up to date with this story to follow any further developments and of course, I will report straight back to you!
As usual, I would one hundred percent recommend giving New Scientist a read. It is a cheap magazine which is available weekly and is absolutely full of new scientific research and discoveries, not just biology related but also covering the likes of chemistry and physics. It is honestly brilliant and completely worth your money. If any of you would like me to do a sort of review on any of these, I’d be more than willing!
Until Next Time,