Anti-Aging Drugs Being Tested for Dogs
Dog owners are eager to find ways to extend the lifespans of their companions.
A drug found to extend the lifespan of mice is being tested in dogs in hopes it could not only help them live longer, but possibly humans as well, news report say.
Rapamycin, which appears to delay the onset of some diseases in mice, is among several anti-aging agents being tested in clinical trials on dogs.
The drug is approved in organ transplants and for some cancers, but it also got a boost as an potential anti-aging treatment when a Y 2014 study showed it bolstered the immune system..
But the problem is that there is less research money available for studying longevity than research for specific diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
There are drawbacks to anti-aging research.
1st, it can take many decades before effects are seen, and 2nd, there are ethical concerns about giving drugs, which may cause side effects to healthy people.
But dogs have significantly shorter lifespans, and their owners are eager to find ways to extend their lifespans.
More than 1,500 dog owners applied for the 40 slots in the pilot study at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Last month, the researchers reported that the dogs had suffered no significant side effects and that their hearts were working more efficiently. The researchers are now looking for funding to enroll 450 dogs in a longer trial, and they hope that dog owner will help rally support for this, and other longevity trials.
“If the average pet owner sees there’s a way to significantly delay aging in their pet, maybe it will begin to impact policy decisions,” says Dr. Matt Kaeberlein, a researcher involved in the study.