Whereas normal cells cycle through stages when they grow, divide and eventually die, senescent cells can remain alive and appear “zombie”, a state that involves the release of factors that affect neighboring cells. The presence of important amounts of senescent cells in our bodies as we age may induce several conditions such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and vascular disease.
A more recent study was published last year (2018) showing that in a senescence animal model, a combination of two existing drugs (dasatinib and quercetin) prevented cell damage, eliminated the senescent cells from tissues and restored function. The same combination of drugs, when administered to normal mice, extended their life (in older mice) and health span (when given to younger mice).
Dasatinib is an existing drug used to treat some forms of leukemia; quercetin is a flavonol found in fruits and vegetables such as apples and berries berries, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, cabbage), capers, grapes, onions, shallots, tea, and tomatoes, and many seeds and nuts.