Fountain of Youth
An experimental drug called J147, currently being studied for its effects on Alzheimer’s disease, has been revealed to have unexpected anti-ageing effects. The study, which is being tested on mice, shows the test subjects with better memory and cognition, healthier blood vessels, and notably improved physiological features.
“We did not predict we’d see this sort of anti-ageing effect, but J147 made old mice look like they were young, based upon a number of physiological parameters,” said Antonio Currais, a researcher from Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.
Of course, since the work is based on mice, it will be some time before it can be utilized in humans, and we will need to conduct a number of clinical trials to ensure that it works in humans. However, the research is promising.
In the experiment, which studied three groups of mice—one young, the other old, and a final group of old mice on a diet that included J147—the old with J147 showed improved performance, fewer pathological signs of Alzheimers, better energy metabolism, lower brain inflammation, and lower levels of fatty acids in the brain.
Most experimental drugs target the amyloid plaque deposits in the brain, a hallmark of the disease, but unfortunately, they have not proven to be very effective. J147 instead, treats Alzheimer’s disease by focusing on its major risk factor, ageing—given that it’s one of the major reasons that the disease develops in the first place.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and as the population’s median age rises, the number of cases is expected to increase to 13.5 million by 2050.
Having Alzheimer’s disease is like going into a dark hole. In fact, it is one of the most complex and destructive diseases that mankind is currently dealing with. Most diseases attack the body, but this disease attacks the brain and eventually destroys it.
If proven to be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s, J147 will provide a solution to one of the most common progressive and degenerative brain disorders, while the anti-ageing effects of the experimental drug will also prove to be a welcome benefit. But as previously noted, researchers recognize that, while the results of animal trials have been positive, demonstrating its true relevance and effectiveness will require moving the research to human clinical trials--which they have slated for next year.