Saturday, 14 March 2015

First Baby Step' Toward Anti-Aging Drug

- Researchers could be closing in on a "fountain of youth" drug that can delay the effects of aging and improve the health of older adults, a new study suggests. Seniors received a significant boost to their immune systems when given a drug that targets a genetic signaling pathway linked to aging and immune function, researchers with the drug maker Novartis report. The experimental medication, a version of the drug rapamycin, improved the seniors' immune response to a flu vaccine by 20 percent, researchers said in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine. The study is a "watershed" moment for research into the health effects of aging, said Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Rapamycin belongs to a class of drugs known as mTOR inhibitors, which have been shown to counteract aging and aging-related diseases in mice and other animals. Barzilai, who wasn't involved in the study, said this is one of the first studies to show that these drugs also can delay the effects of aging in humans. "It sets the stage for using this drug to target aging, to improve everything about aging," Barzilai said. "That's really going to be for us a turning point in research, and we are very excited." The mTOR genetic pathway promotes healthy growth in the young. But it appears to have a negative effect on mammals as they grow older-READ MORE-

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