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State of Health

Studies At OMRF Seek Ways To Slow Aging Process

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

None of us can escape aging. With each passing decade we can start to lose our eyesight, hearing and muscle mass, among other things. Then there is the threat of diseases that can attack us later in life. However, researchers at OMRF are studying ways to slow down the aging process.

Every move in Marcia Noah's yoga class has a purpose. Stretching, balancing, even cardio helps these silver sneakers gain back what they've lost.

'It's a personal passion of mine to make sure that an aging population stays active from the top of their head to the bottom of their toes," said Marcia Noah, a personal trainer at the YMCA.

"It's what keeps me alive," said Sandy Jarman, a member of the Silver Sneakers program.

Jarman is among the group in Noah's class who struggles with the effects of aging. Ted Lovelace has diabetes.

"I'm 75 years old," Lovelace admits. "If it wasn't for this, I'd be home in a rocking chair."

Holly VanRemmen studies aging within the Aging and Metabolism Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

"Aging is the primary risk factor for a number of age related diseases," said Vanremmen. "If we can understand what's going on there and intervene to slow down that process of aging, then these diseases will also be delayed."

Inside OMRF's 65 labs and two clinics, researchers not only study aging, but also arthritis, MS, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

"We do all types of clinical research from testing new medications in partnership with companies to actually trying to find out what are the genetic and other causes of these diseases," said Stephen Prescott, OMRF President.

OMFD is expanding it's aging program and recently received a $2.1 million grant to study age-related muscle loss.

"It's not about can we make the human being who can live to 180, that's not the goal, the goal is can you live to a hundred or 110 and still be relatively healthy living an active life," said Vanremmen.

"I think it's important for people to know it's normal to age and it's ok to age and get through that aging as healthy as you can," said Jarman.

Researchers at OMRF have invented three FDA approved drugs. Three others are currently in late stage clinical testing.

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