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This Alzheimer’s Drug Might Also Keep People Young

by Kate Ferguson on November 18, 2015
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AV15-33 World Bank https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldbank/1196394448/in/photolist-2PHQou-7XacBd-7sg7KY-oT7QW5-qvs51C-orPMF1-9866ZQ-dfAbzn-h6ZKGR-o1i2yr-oaaZKo-7j1d69-6xzvE5-e8VNWM-5Wr5gP-2MUG63-5KCw3N-9834p4-sHghUE-nSQAqR-yNHHq-9W1TVM-6mymTR-6kQ5Gv-aB1BwX-cHSdoo-6bjNnM-cVmVeU-7UpWJQ-61122h-eddGG3-9ia4vV-o4Rjnd-6Ljf89-5bSFmb-siSApG-oamFNL-cvUW9h-5M3xBP-6tARnb-8v965i-8FXtJW-9haV7N-5TEXct-8Gfay3-bstX1u-eXifHF-hC99BL-4unt5o-7yU2xr

A new drug that’s been studied for its effects on preventing Alzheimer’s disease might also have some other fountain of youth qualities as well. The drug is called J147 and is showing a lot of promise in a variety of ways.

According to the study author Antonio Currais:

“Initially, the impetus was to test this drug in a novel animal model that was more similar to 99 percent of Alzheimer’s cases. We did not predict we’d see this sort of anti-aging effect, but J147 made old mice look like they were young, based upon a number of physiological parameters.”

In the most recent study that it’s undergone, the researchers were testing its effects on age related memory decline in rats that is similar to the kind that humans go through. They studied three different groups of mice to test this.  One group was a normal young healthy group, one was an old group, and one was a group of old mice that had been given the J147 as they were aging.

The researchers could gather data on how the mice were aging with indicators like blood and brain metabolism, and the gene expression changes that took place in their brains.

The mice who were treated with the J147 came out way better than the mice who were not. They had better performances on their memory and cognition tests, they strengthened their blood vessels, they just straight up looked younger, they had reduced inflammation in the brain, and faster metabolisms. All of those are things that are usually exhibited in younger mice, so it seemed as though the treated mice were simply being kept younger and healthier by the drug.

Aging in general usually shows some leakage in the blood vessels in the brain, and people who suffer from Alzheimer’s generally show a lot more of it. So the fact that the mice taking the J147 drug showed a marked distinction with less blood vessel leakage, is a huge plus.

So far the drug has only been tested on the mice, but the researchers are confident that it might work on humans as well, so it will be going to human trials soon. Alzheimer’s currently affects more than five million people in the U.S. alone, so having a legitimate way of treating it would be major to improving the health and longevity of many.

The study author David Schubert says:

“If proven safe and effective for Alzheimer’s, the apparent anti-aging effect of J147 would be a welcome benefit.”

So far what we know about preventing Alzheimer’s outside of the drug world, has to do a lot with lifestyle, eating habits, and exercise habits. Getting fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of antioxidants, and omega 3 fatty acids have shown some promise. Keeping the blood pressure in check is also an important aspect of keeping the brain healthy, as is keeping your brain sharp by keeping it engaged, and surrounding yourself with strong networks of friends throughout life.

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