By Dailymail.com Reporter
Published: 21:50 GMT, 1 January 2019 | Updated: 21:53 GMT, 1 January 2019
A drug that helps the immune system clear away old cells could restore youthfulness, according to a new study.
The research suggests it may be possible to reverse the ageing process and could potentially pave the way for anti-ageing treatments that actually work.
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel investigated the way the immune system is involved in clearing away old, senescent (or, ageing) cells that are not completely dead but are irreparably damaged and barely functioning.
Within weeks, those who received the team's new drug had fewer aged cells, lower levels of inflammation and were more active.
There are certain proteins in the body that can fuel ageing cells, allowing them to thrive. A team in Israel gave mice a drug that blocked that protein, and left them more youthful
Senescent cells have been linked to diseases of ageing by promoting inflammation.
For the study, published in Nature Communications, scientists used two sets of mice.
The first group consisted of mice who were missing a crucial gene needed to sweep out ageing cells. The second group had the gene.
At two years, which is