Anti-aging drugs may offer a new way to treat covid-19
Mannick has been exploring the effects of rapamycin-like drugs in covid-19. Her testing was taking place in nursing homes during the outbreak. For four weeks, half of the participants were given the drug, while the other half were given a placebo. Of those given a placebo, “25 percent of them developed severe disease and half of them died,” said Mannick, who has yet to publish the work. None of those taking the drug developed any covid-19 symptoms.
“There are many strategies to help the aging immune system better fight covid,” she said. “Aging is the biggest risk factor for severe covid, and it’s a modifiable risk factor.”
Fortney hopes to extend her medication beyond covid-19; a rejuvenated immune system could theoretically fight many other viral and bacterial infections. Her colleague Stanley Perlman, an astronaut researcher at the University of Iowa who co-authored the study of the covid drug BioAge in mice, has future pandemics in mind. “Next time there is another coronavirus in 2030, perhaps all this information will be very helpful,” he said.
The immune system is not the only target of anti-aging drugs. Others aim for delete old cells. Most of the cells in our body divide up to a certain point. When this limit is reached, they die and are eliminated by the immune system. But that’s not always the case – some cells still exist. These cells no longer divide, and some instead create a toxic mix of chemicals that cause harmful inflammation in the surrounding area and beyond.
The cells that do this are called “aging,” and they build up in our organs as we age. They have been linked to a growing number of age-related diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease – the list goes on. They also play an important role in coronavirus infections.
In the unpublished study, James Kirkland, who studies aging and cellular aging at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, says he has evidence that the coronavirus infects aging cells quickly. than non-senescent cells. His research also shows that senescent cells release chemicals that cause neighboring non-aging cells to also absorb viruses, he said.
These cells not only take up more of the coronavirus, but they also seem to provide a breeding ground for new virus variants. “There is emerging evidence that old cells infected with the coronavirus can mutate that virus,” said Kirkland. “So they could even be the cause of viral mutations.”
As another concern, coronavirus can cause healthy cells to age. With all this in mind, old age has become an obvious target for both anti-aging therapy and covid-19 therapy. Studies in mice and hamsters show that Compounds that kill senile cells may improve symptoms of covid-19 and increase your chances of survival.