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Compound That Checks Cell Aging May Help Prevent A Variety Of Diseases

April 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A naturally-occurring compound – it was discovered in the soil of Easter Island – known as rapamycin may help prevent neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s, by preventing cell aging. The compound has been widely studied because it mimics the effects of dietary restriction, including longer lifespan, at least in mouse studies. Mice taking rapamycin have also shown more fitness, improved cognition, better cardiovascular health, and less cancer. The new U.S. study finds that rapamycin is linked to cellular senescence, when aging cells stop proliferating and secrete toxins that cause inflammation that, in turn, sets the stage for a wide variety of degenerative diseases, including dementia. Rapamycin appears to help stop that process. 
Rong Wang et al., "Rapamycin inhibits the secretory phenotype of senescent cells by a Nrf2-independent mechanism", Aging Cell, April 05, 2017, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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