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An antidepressant 'could increase life expectancy'

An antidepressant 'could increase life expectancy'
23rd November 2007

New research has demonstrated that an antidepressant drug could potentially increase life expectancy.

The drug, called mianserin, works by tricking the brain into believing it is starving.

Previous studies have shown that reducing the amount animals eat can extend their lives by 30 per cent and now this could be possible for humans without the pain of actually going hungry.

Professor Linda Buck carried out the tests on C.elegan worms, alongside researchers from the Hutchinson cancer research centre in Seattle.

According to the Telegraph they screened 88,000 different chemicals to see if they had the life extending effect.

Professor Buck told the newspaper that the findings are not proof that antidepressants can make people live longer but that the research did shed some light on the ageing process.

She stressed that there was a big difference between the how a drug affects worms and how it would affect humans.

Recently Dr Colin Waine told the BBC that levels of obesity in the UK could lead to the first drop in life expectancy for 200 years.

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