Posts Tagged ‘telomeres’

Telomeres Point to New Osteoarthritis Therapies

February 7th, 2012
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Osteoarthritis is a devastating and extremely common disease.  It can be caused by aging, heredity and injury from trauma or disease.  About 46 million people in the U.S. (and more than half of all people older than 75) have some form of arthritis, which costs this country about $128 billion a year in treatments, rehabilitation, and lost productivity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
There is no successful treatment for osteoarthritis, but an intriguing talk we saw at TedMed 2011 made a connection between this disease and telomeres, the “caps” on the end of chromosomes that play a strong role in aging.
As part of Popper and Co.’s efforts to bring you the latest in health care innovation, strategy and business development, we are highlighting new research that shows that telomere shortening associated with aging can not only be influenced by stress and psychological states of mind, but also may accelerate the development of osteoarthritis.
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Meditate Your Way to Longer Telomeres; Keep Aging at Bay?

January 30th, 2012
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As part of Popper and Company’s ongoing effort to scan the health care universe and share innovative ideas and solutions with you, the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has risen to the surface. That year, Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostack received the prize for discovering “how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.”  The Nobel Laureates demonstrated that chromosomes are protected from degradation by telomeres, which sit at the ends of our chromosomes, similar to the plastic cap on the end of a shoelace. There’s a lesson here that plays on a theme that Popper and Company team members often discuss among ourselves – the role the individual plays in his or her own health and longevity.
Let me explain: The telomere protects our chromosomes from becoming tattered and damaged. The enzyme telomerase helps maintain a healthy cell. As telomerase levels and activity diminish over time, our telomeres shorten and no longer divide, our cells age and no longer function properly; they then die, and well, eventually we die.
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