SNHS Spotlight: Anti-Aging Drugs

While anti-aging drugs have been on the horizon for many years, recent research has shown to be promising in discovering the effects of these drugs. Anti-aging drugs treat the causes of aging and aims to extend the longevity of one’s life. Depending on the drug some may hope to slow aging or make a person appear younger than they actually are. Some drugs that are currently being researched are rapamycin, acarbose and metformin. Recently, research has been done at the U-M’s Paul F Glenn Center for Aging Research. A study was conducted on mice where presumed anti-aging drugs were given.  This trial reports that, “in laboratory testing, the anti-aging drugs have been shown to lengthen the average healthy lifespan of mice by 15-25 percent” (Cabos). Rapamycin is a drug that is used to block the growth of certain cancers and to prevent organ rejection during transplants. In an experiment mice were given these drugs and “has been highly effective in extending the healthy lifespan of both male and female mice by more than 20 percent” (Capos). Metformin is a drug that is used to treat people that have type 2 diabetes. Clinical trials such as the MILES( Metformin in Longevity Study) and the TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin) have tested whether this drug could be used for anti-aging benefits. While the results of these trials have been controversial, metformin has been shown to increase the health of patients. So while it has not been proven to expand lifespan it has shown to increase health. These drugs have been clinically tested on mice which show promise that if applied to humans would have similar effects. 

Along with these drugs and various others, researchers have also tested cream that contained rapamycin to slow aging in human skin. Another theory being tested is injecting the beneficial parts of young people’s blood into those who are older. This theory “hopes to halt cognitive and functional decline in patients suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease” (Piore). While these drugs have been tested in a clinical setting, effects on humans are still being tested today.

Samantha Campana ’22


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