Restoring Hardened Blood Vessels

Blood vessels harden with age, causing a variety of dangerous conditions related to high blood pressure. This has been linked to advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs); here, EurekAlert reports on a different viewpoint: "The research, which was done in test tubes and animal models, needs to be confirmed in humans before it could form the basis for new therapies. But the fundamental findings reveal an important insight into how blood vessels change with age and lose much of their ability to relax, contract, and facilitate the circulation of blood in the body. ... Basically, we've learned that in older blood vessels, the cellular signaling process is breaking down. The vessels still have the ability to relax much as they did when they were younger, but they are not getting the message ... The laboratory studies were very compelling. We were able to make aging blood vessels behave as if they were young again ... This overall process, the researchers said, is linked to a low-grade, chronic inflammation that occurs with aging, in blood vessels and probably many other metabolic functions."



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