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Drug Cocktail For Longer, Healthier Life In The Works


The pace of population ageing is accelerating across the globe. By 2050, the world's population aged 60 years and older is expected to total 2 billion, up from 900 million in 2015, according to the World Health Organization. But, with old age, comes a number of illnesses. Therefore, staying healthy is also important to experience longevity.

A team of researchers, led by Principal Investigator Jan Gruber from Yale-NUS College, claims to have discovered a drug cocktail that not only increases healthy lifespan but also delays the rate of ageing - not in humans though - but for now in a microscopic nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans.

As part of the research, the nematode worms were administered a cocktail of two or three compounds targeting different ageing pathways. "Two drug pairs in particular prolonged the mean lifespan of the worms more than each of the drugs individually, and in combination with a third compound almost doubled the mean lifespan. This lifespan extension is larger than the ones that were previously reported for any drug intervention in adult animals", according to the findings. Moreover, across all ages, the worms treated with the drug cocktail also had increased health span.

An evolutionarily distinct organism such as fruit flies also experienced significant lifespan extension when treated with the same drug cocktail. And this, according to the researchers, suggests that similar outcome may be achieved in humans too.

The potential future human ageing interventions should increase lifespan as well as health span as "we would benefit not only from having longer lives, but also spend more of those years free from age-related diseases like arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or Alzheimer's disease," according to Gruber.

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