mTOR inhibitors appear to boost the immune system of older adults

A recent clinical trial found that mTOR inhibitors–two experimental anti-aging drugs–both reduced the number of respiratory infections and boosted “people’s responses to the flu vaccine.”

The trial involved 264 volunteers aged 65 and over.  Some of the volunteers received low doses of both drugs–which appeared to be the most effective treatment.  All participants were monitored subsequently for one year.

mTOR inhibitors “appear to broadly rejuvenate immune function in healthy elderly people.”  Other tests with these drugs in mice have shown that they can “extend lifespan and revitalize the immune system and organs which deteriorate in old age.”

As people grow older, their immune systems weaken.  Infections happen more frequently, and vaccines don’t work as well.  If drugs–like mTOR inhibitors–can boost the immune systems of older people, ” they could help to protect the whole population from infections.”

More research is needed; however, “this study raises the real possibility that most middle-aged adults could benefit from short-term treatments with mTOR inhibitors.”

Read the article (Layal Liverpool, The Guardian, July 11, 2018).

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