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Anti-Aging Drug Closer to Reality
Date:10/1/2009

youthful,' implying slowing of the usual age decline in immunity," he said.

The males didn't live longer but reaped other health benefits enjoyed by the females, Withers said, noting the cause of the lifespan difference is unclear.

Matt Kaeberlein, an assistant professor of pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle, said these and other new findings are shifting "the prevailing opinion among scientists working in this area [of life extension] from 'if' to 'when.'" That theory is supported by other recent life-extension research involving a drug called rapamycin and confirmation that diet restriction helps monkeys live longer, he noted.

"Most of us believe that anti-aging drugs are possible and are going to be developed from studies such as these," said Kaeberlein, co-author of a commentary accompanying the study.

So, what's next? Withers said a diabetes drug called metformin, which is marketed as Glucophage, Glumetza and Fortamet, might mimic the effects of the genetic engineering in the mice.

But, "it would take some time to work out if treating people with drugs based upon our studies actually has long-term health benefits," he said. "Clearly, undertaking such trials in humans would be a sensible next step."

More information

The Stanford Center on Longevity has more on the myths and challenges of aging.



SOURCES: Dominic J. Withers, M.D., Ph.D., professor, University College London; Matt Kaeberlein, Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology, University of Washington, Seattle; Oct. 2, 2009, Science


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