Future of Fountain of youth drug
This experimental drug was a version of the rapamycin drug. It was found to having increased the senior’s immune response to vaccines like that of flu by 20 percent. This was concluded by the researchers of Science Translational Medicine.
According to the director of the Institute for Aging, Dr. NirBarzilai, this study is a ‘watershed’ moment for research in the field of aging and developing anti-aging remedies. He said this while he was at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NY.
Now coming to the drug, Rapamycin hails from a class of drugs which are known as mTOR inhibitors. These have been found to nullify the effects of aging and related diseases in mice and other animals.
Barzilia was not initially involved in the study but then he reported that this was one of the first studies that showed these drugs could delay aging in humans too. According to him, this drug could be a turning point in the research for aging and anti-aging remedies.
This drug promotes the growth in the young people. However it was found that they begin to have a negative effect as they grow older. This was confirmed by Dr. Joan Mannick, the executive director of the New Indications Discovery Unit at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.
When these drugs were given to mice to counteract the effect of mTOR, their life cycle span seemed to get extended and the onset of the aging process and related diseases was delayed.
Mannick investigated if these could be used to reverse the loss of ability to fight diseases in older people. In a trial, 65+ aged people, more than 200 in numbers, were given the drug or placebo for few weeks, with a dose of flu vaccine thereafter. Those who received the experimental version of the drug developed more number of antibodies in its response. Even low doses of its medication increased the immunity by a huge percentage.
Mannick called it a ‘baby step’ and was unsure if it could be the immunity booster in the elderly. She also said that the more important thing here was to find out the risks related to it. However, Barzilai said enthusiastically that these researches could bring about a radical change in the treatment of age related illnesses.
He said in conclusion, that until science is focused only on aging, it will not be possible to find a very correct solution and the remedies can be the doors to an entirely new disease.