Drugs to help you live up to 150 years?

Mar 12, 2013 |

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Drugs that could combat ageing and help people to live up to 150 years may be available within the next five years, a new landmark research suggests. The study proves that a single anti-ageing enzyme in the body can be targeted, with the potential to prevent age-related diseases and extend life spans. The research, published in the journal Science, shows all of the 117 drugs tested work on the single enzyme through a common mechanism. This means that a whole new class of anti-ageing drugs is now viable, which could ultimately prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. “Ultimately, these drugs would treat one disease, but unlike drugs of today, they would prevent 20 others,” says the lead author of the paper, Professor David Sinclair, from the University of New South Wales Medicine. A girl born today in Australia could reasonably expect to live to 100. Photo: Louie Douvis THE first drugs that can slow the ageing process are likely to become available within five to 10 years, raising the prospect of people eventually living to 150 or more, researchers say. Peter Smith, dean of medicine at the University of NSW, said a girl born today in Australia could reasonably expect to live to 100 already, due to advances in medicine, lifestyle and public health. In addition, new drugs to help the body repair itself were in the early stages of development, along with new stem cell therapies. ''I think there is real hope we can extend human life by some decades further,'' Professor Smith said. Living to 150 may sound unnerving, but it would be ''great'' if you were well until near the end, he said. ''The aim is not just to eke out extra existence, but to facilitate a longer healthy life,'' he said.
Advertisement <iframe id="dcAd-1-4" src="http://ad-

apac.doubleclick.net/adi/onl.age.tech/tech/scitech;ctype=article;cat1=scitech;cat=tech;pos=3;sz=300x250;tile=4;ord= 8.2349847E7?" width='300' height='250' scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0"> </iframe> ''People aren't going to want to retire at 65 and spend many, many decades sitting at home.'' Baroness Susan Greenfield, a neuroscientist at Oxford University, also foresees people starting second careers at 65, in knowledge-based jobs rather than physical ones. But she said tackling dementia, which includes Alzheimer's disease, needed to be a priority. ''Otherwise the social and economic implications could potentially be catastrophic.'' David Sinclair, an Australian expert in ageing at Harvard University, said a network of genes controlled the pace of ageing. ''Our bodies have an extraordinary ability to repair themselves.''

''I think we're seeing the beginning of technology that could one day allow us to reach 150. ''And [they] are showing early signs of efficacy. But. then later attempt to delay the onset of diseases of ageing.Professor Sinclair has shown that resveratrol. Professor Sinclair cautioned. Clinical trials of synthetic molecules 1000 times more potent than resveratrol were under way in people with diseases of ageing. a plant compound found in red wine. concluding they had ''nothing to do with extending life''. such as diabetes 2. he said. fruit flies and fat mice. .'' British scientists last month challenged the link between sirtuins and longevity in worms and fruit flies in the journal Nature. by activating proteins called sirtuins. It was still very early days. can extend the lifespan of yeast.'' The immediate aim was to find medicines to treat elderly sick people. he said. The company he co-founded was bought by GlaxoSmithKline for $US720 million in 2008. worms.

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