The first time that I heard of the drug rapamycin was in the year 2000, when my dad just barely survived heart transplant surgery. Miraculously though, he did, and his doctors gave him rapamycin to prevent his body from rejecting his new heart. He’s been on rapamycin, or a very similar drug, ever since.
Since my dad’s heart transplant 23 years ago, rapamycin has been quite the focus in the aging field. In addition to preventing organ rejection, it’s been shown to extend the healthy portion of life in a variety of laboratory animals.
The benefits of rapamycin in aging mice are rather remarkable. Not only does it increase lifespan, it also improves cognitive function, kidney function, and heart function, lowers the rate of cancer and reverses periodontal disease. Essentially, it makes mice get older later in life.
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