Hypertension drug might may help in slowing down the aging process

February 04, 2023 | Biology

With scientific advances, the holy grail pursuit of anything promising in terms of restoring one’s youth, vitality, and health has never been this steadfast. Indeed, people have been now aging slower and living longer, with an average life expectancy of 76 years.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, joined by the Institute of Translational Medicine in Switzerland, and Harvard Medical School of the United States, held that rilmenidine, a hypertension drug, could be modified to help increase a person’s lifespan. Rilmenidine was chosen over other candidates, like allantoin, because it is orally available and has rare to non-severe side effects. This makes it an attractive drug for repositioning for age-related diseases and other clinical applications. To show the benefits of this drug, the scientists used a roundworm model and searched for compounds that showed molecular signatures similar to caloric restriction.

Odoo text and image block
Odoo text and image block

Dr. João Pedro Magalhães, the corresponding author of the study, told Medical News that caloric restriction is the most effective and consistent way of extending lifespan and reversing aging. In their animal model, the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans that were treated with rilmenidine significantly lived longer by 20% as compared to their controls. Additionally, roundworms that were treated were also healthier for longer. These results implied that both lifespan and health span are extended by rilmenidine treatment.   

Though there are a few drugs that are labeled as having potential anti-aging properties, there is still no such thing as an anti-aging prescription. Dr. Magalhães and others are pushing in that direction although further research on more complex species is required before conclusions can be drawn.

In the meantime, we shall first expect to see longevity drugs successfully being repurposed for other age-related diseases used for anti-aging s a form of preventive intervention or prophylaxis. 

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