This common drug can help prevent muscle aging, study finds

In a recent study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Basel found that a well-known drug can prevent muscle weakness in older people.

They found that mTORC1 contributes to sarcopenia and its suppression with the well-known drug rapamycin slows age-related muscle wasting.

One author of the study is Professor Markus Rüegg.

MTORC1 is a protein complex that functions as a nutrient/energy sensor and controls protein synthesis.

Rapamycin is a proven anti-aging drug. It is used to prevent organ transplant rejection and treat rare lung disease. The drug is especially useful in preventing the rejection of kidney transplants.

Even during peak years, human muscles begin to shrink and become less strong. Unfortunately, this is a natural part of aging.

For some people, the decline in muscle mass and function is excessive. This condition is called sarcopenia.

The health problem affects every second or third person over 80, reducing mobility, autonomy, and quality of life. There is currently no effective therapy to treat sarcopenia.

In the study, the team examined the long-term mTORC1 suppression with rapamycin and found it is very beneficial for preventing skeletal muscle aging, preserving muscle size and strength.

The researchers suggest the possibility of slowing down age-related muscle wasting with treatments that suppress mTORC1 and thereby extend the autonomy and life quality of elderly people.

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