anti-aging effect was revealed in a random screening of 19 drugs
approved for treating a variety of disorders in humans. "We didn't
start with a hypothesis about what causes aging," says senior author
Kerry Kornfeld, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of molecular biology
and pharmacology. "We wanted to look in an unbiased way at available
compounds to see if any of them happened to have anti-aging activity."
The researchers grew the roundworm C. elegans in the presence of the 19
drugs and found that an anticonvulsant, ethosuximide, extended the
worms' lives from an average of 17 days to an average of 20 days.
Further tests on anticonvulsants revealed that they also increased life
span, with the drug trimethadione having the largest effect and
extending the worms' lives by 47 percent.
The group then sought to uncover the underlying mechanism for the
effect of the anticonvulsants. It was apparent that the drugs did not
mimic the anti-aging effects of caloric restriction, because the worms
had abundant food and looked well-fed. The researchers also
demonstrated that anticonvulsants did not extend life by protecting the
worms from pathogenic bacteria in thei
Source:Washington University in St.Louis