Antidepressant extends lifespan in worms

A team at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle blitzed the C. elegans roundworm with tens of thousands of chemicals and found 115 that prolonged their short lives. But one, the antidepressant mianserin, is now commanding all of their attention. The chemical inhibits two neurotransmitters and appears to offer the same kind of extended longevity that severely restricted food consumption can have--without the diet. In the worm, a regular in early-stage studies, the chemical induced a 30 percent increase in average life spans. That translates to about one extra week for the worm, potentially much more in humans.

- read the report from The New York Times

ALSO: Both humans and mice that manage to live to a ripe, old age show a clear change in their glucose metabolism, but it's unclear whether this change alone can increase lifespan. Release

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