mTOR inhibiting drug beneficial for elders
mTOR inhibiting drug : Researchers at Novartis institutes for Biomedical Research in Massachusetts has tested a special enzyme inhibitor drug on 264 volunteers aged 65 and over and discovered that it reduced infections around 40% by boosting their immune system.
Basically what they had done is that they blocked a special protein called mTOR “mammalian Target of Rapamycin”, by combination of two drugs.
This mTOR enzyme plays a key role in various cellular processes like regulating growth, survival and movement in our body.
Blocking similar enzymes in other organism like common fruit fly, it increased their lifespan dramatically!. Earlier discovered “Rapamycin” a special mTOR inhibitor has been confirmed to increase lifespan in mice.
Other mTOR inhibiting drugs are already being used to treat cancer.
Earlier scientists has discovered that there are increased activity of mTOR enzyme in old mice which lead to decline in blood stem cells, low immune response to vaccines and it also increased risk of cancer.
Inhibiting the mTOR enzyme gives them increased numbers of stem cells which allowed vaccine to work more efficiently which leads to longer life span.
Earlier Novartis has conducted a human trial with only one mTOR inhibiting drug and found increased immune response by 20 percent. This time they combined two types of inhibitor to prevent mTOR from working.
In this human clinical trial of mTOR inhibiting drug, 264 volunteers received six weeks course and after two weeks rest they all received a seasonal flu shot. Then researchers tested their blood for antibodies, they found a 20 percent increase in influenza antibodies compared with the other placebo groups. They keep track of all 264 volunteers’ health; no side effects of the drug were found in one year time span and volunteers who received the drug get less infections on average of 1.49 infections compared to placebo group 2.41 per year.
It is not amazing but for an old man one less bronchitis attack in a year can be a life saver.
This mTOR inhibiting drug may prove not to be a fountain of youth, but researchers are hopeful it will provide a better healthier life for elders.
Source: Novartis institutes for Biomedical Research in Massachusetts