Anti-depressant may hold key to longer life

earthwormAn antidepressant drug has been found to boost lifespan by around 30 per cent by tricking the brain to thinking it is starving.

The drug, called mianserin, extended the life span of nematode worms Caenorhabditis elegans, U.S. researchers reported in the journal Nature. They hope to find out if the same mechanism can help people live longer.

Three other compounds, including another antidepressant, have similar effects, said Michael Petrascheck of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle. But the life-extending benefits come at a cost.

“Weight gain and increased appetite seems to be one of the side effects. It is one of the reasons these are not such popular antidepressants,” Petrascheck said in a telephone interview.

Source:  Daily Mail


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