Study looks at extending dogs’ lives

(Photo Supplied/Indiana News Service)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO/Indiana News Service): Researchers are studying a drug that could extend the lives of dogs, and some day maybe even humans.

They maintain the drug rapamycin, typically used to treat organ transplant patients, could be used at low doses to slow the aging process, attacking cancer and other age-related causes of death collectively instead of individually.

Matt Kaeberlein, a professor of pathology at the University of Washington who leads the research, says some scientists still doubt the drug’s anti-aging properties.

“What we know from the basic biology of aging research is that rapamycin slows aging in every organism where it’s been tested,” he states. “And that goes from yeast to C. elegans, which is a nematode worm, to fruit flies, to mice.”

Kaeberlein says rapamycin works on a molecular level, although exactly how it works is still unclear.

Researchers have completed an initial round of tests and found no major side effects for dogs.

The study seeks to prove that if rapamycin can extend the lives of humans’ best friends, it could potentially do the same for humans.

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