LAS VEGAS, Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- At the 2016 American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine Congress (AAAMC), Board Certified Saudi Dermatologist, Dr. Saad AlSogair, presented promising findings with respect to rapamycin - a compound that has the potential to treat age-related diseases and increase the human lifespan.
Rapamycin is a bacterial byproduct, originally developed as an anti-fungal agent that suppresses the mTOR protein, which is an "attractive candidate to study with respect to aging," remarked Dr. Sogair. This protein is connected to several age-related diseases like osteoporosis and macular degeneration. Inhibiting this protein could therefore slow the aging process, although the exact process is not fully understood. Per Dr. Sogair's research, experiments with mice demonstrate both the promise and challenge of developing an anti-aging therapy for humans using rapamycin. The compound had significant positive effects with all breeds, even when delivered later in life. Mice lived an average of three to four months longer, an equivalent of ten human years. The effect seemed to be greater in females. "The observation that rapamycin increases lifespan (both mean and maximum) in mice strongly suggests that rapamycin works by slowing down aging, possibly by suppressing tumor growth," explained Dr. Al Sogair. "Rapamycin is already used in humans as a transplant rejection inhibitor, a therapy in renal cell carcinoma treatment and a coating for stents. Trials are underway to learn whether the compound might be useful in treating various autoimmune disorders." The observed side effects of rapamycin in humans include hair and nail disorders, reduced male fertility, anemia and joint pain. Given the conditions for which the FDA has approved rapamycin for human use, these are acceptable risks. As a general anti-aging treatment, however, more studies will be necessary in order to isolate the positive effects from the potentially serious side-effects. "The conclusion is that rapamycin might have a broad protection against age-related diseases in humans," Dr. Saad added, "but further research will be required."