researchers have found that lithium has the ability to be used as an anti-aging drug, in addition to being used as anti-depressing agent. flies were used as test subjects for this expresemnt, and it showed that flies with were given doses of lithium had an approximation of 15% life span addition. this mean that flies that were given the solution had a longer life span. the lithium effects were due to its ability to block glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), a molecule that was found to have a controlling hand on development of age-related diseases. in addition "researchers found that, at the same time as blocking GSK-3, lithium promotes activity of a molecule called nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NRF-2), which is involved in protecting cells against oxidative stress - a key player in the aging process." (whiteman, 2016)
"To improve our quality and length of life we must delay the onset of age-related diseases by extending the healthiest period of our lives. Identifying a drug target for aging is a crucial step in achieving this and by targeting GSK-3, we could discover new ways of controlling the aging process in mammals, including humans."(Castillo-Quan)
Researchers are planning to target more complex animals to observe the effect it could have on them.
fruit flies proved to be a model organism again. "Thank you Morgan". its a major advancement to push our life span even further, starting at a maximum age 30 at one point in our evolution, now to 80, and with this experiment showing promises of a potential extension to our life span by tackling age-related diseases.
Whiteman, H. (2016, April 10). Lithium brings anti-aging drugs a step closer. Retrieved from Medical New Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308830.php