In a study from the University of Liverpool, scientists found that the drug rilmenidine can extend lifespan and slow aging.
They found that animals treated with rilmenidine, currently used to treat high blood pressure, at young and older ages increase lifespan and improve health markers, mimicking the effects of caloric restriction.
The team also found that the healthspan and lifespan benefits of rilmenidine treatment are mediated by the I1-imidazoline receptor nish-1. They identified this receptor as a potential longevity target.
The team says different from other drugs previously studied for this purpose, the widely-prescribed, oral antihypertensive rilmenidine has potential for future translatability to humans as the side-effects are rare and non-severe.
Currently, a caloric restriction diet has been considered the most robust anti-aging intervention, promoting longevity across species.
However, the effect of caloric restriction on humans has had mixed results and side effects.
This suggests that finding medications like rilmenidine that can mimic the benefits of caloric restriction is the most reasonable anti-aging strategy.
The team says with a global aging population, the benefits of delaying aging, even if slightly, are immense.
Repurposing drugs capable of extending lifespan and healthspan has a huge untapped potential in translational geroscience.
For the first time, this study has been able to show in animals that rilmenidine can increase lifespan. The researchers are now keen to explore if rilmenidine may have other clinical applications.
If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about tea compounds that could reduce your blood pressure, and the key to treating high blood pressure.
For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.
The study was conducted by Professor João Pedro Magalhães et al and published in Aging Cell.
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