Salk Institute researchers discovered that two experimental drugs, J147 and CMS121, designed to treat Alzheimer’s disease, also have potential anti-aging effects. Previous tests showed that both compounds could keep neurons alive when exposed to cellular stress caused by Alzheimer’s, but new experiments showed that they could slow the aging process and restore the levels of specific molecules to those found in younger brains. This finding indicates that the drugs may be useful for treating a broader range of conditions and suggests a new pathway that links normal aging to Alzheimer’s disease.
The study, published in eLife, highlights the need to consider the contribution of old age-associated detrimental processes to the disease, largely neglected in Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery. Old age is the major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and beyond 65, a person’s chances of developing the condition increase every five years.
The research team, led by senior staff scientist Pamela Maher and staff scientist Antonio Currais, developed CMS121 and J147, variants of plant compounds with medicinal properties, which had tested positive for their ability to keep neurons alive when exposed to cellular stress related to aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers used a strain of mice that aged unusually fast and gave a subset of the mice either CMS121 or J147 beginning at nine months old, which is the equivalent of late middle age in humans. After four months, the team tested the memory and behavior of the animals and analyzed genetic and molecular markers in their brains.
The study found that not only did the animals given either of the drug candidates perform better on memory tests than mice that had not received any treatment, but their brains also showed differences at the cellular and molecular levels. With aging, the expression of genes associated with the cell’s energy-generating structures called mitochondria was preserved by CMS121 and J147. Both drugs affected mitochondria by increasing levels of acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA). The researchers blocked an enzyme that normally breaks down acetyl-CoA in isolated brain cells or added extra amounts of an acetyl-coA precursor and observed the same beneficial effect on mitochondria and energy generation. The brain cells became protected against the normal molecular changes associated with aging.
Maher and Currais are planning future experiments to test the effects of CMS121 and J147 on how other organs age. They also hope to use the new results to inform the development of new Alzheimer’s drugs, hypothesizing that targeting other molecules in the acetyl-CoA pathway may help treat the disease. Using numerous animal models, the researchers are researching how this neuroprotective system affects particular molecular components of mitochondrial biology and their consequences on aging and Alzheimer’s.
The discovery of the potential anti-aging effects of CMS121 and J147 has implications beyond Alzheimer’s disease. The ability of these drugs to prevent molecular changes associated with aging may make them useful in treating other age-related conditions. Additionally, understanding the molecular pathways targeted by these drugs may lead to the development of new treatments for various diseases and conditions related to aging.
While the trial findings are encouraging, more research is needed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of CMS121 and J147 in people. The researchers plan to continue testing these drugs in animal models and to explore other molecules in the acetyl-CoA pathway as potential targets for new Alzheimer’s treatments.
The discovery of the link between aging and Alzheimer’s disease is an important step forward in understanding the disease and how to treat it. With an aging population and the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease expected to increase in the coming years, finding effective treatments for the disease is becoming increasingly important. The discovery of the potential anti-aging effects of CMS121 and J147 may be a significant step forward in achieving this goal.
In addition to developing new treatments for Alzheimer’s and other age-related conditions, understanding the molecular pathways that link aging to disease could also lead to developing new interventions to promote healthy aging. By targeting these pathways, researchers can prevent or delay the onset of age-related diseases and improve overall health and well-being in aging populations.
The study of CMS121 and J147 also highlights the potential of natural compounds to provide new treatments for disease. These compounds, derived from plants with medicinal properties, offer a promising alternative to synthetic drugs, which can have unwanted side effects and may be less effective in treating certain conditions. Using natural compounds also raises questions about the role of diet and lifestyle in promoting healthy aging and preventing disease. Discovering the potential anti-aging effects of CMS121 and J147 advances our understanding of aging and disease. As research in this area continues, we may be able to develop new interventions to promote healthy aging and prevent or treat a range of age-related conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.
J147 is an FDA-unapproved ingredient. Therefore, we are so sorry to tell you we can’t sell this ingredient to you according to FDA policy. And about the CMS-121 ingredient, you can contact our team directly for more details.