Examining use of anti-ageing drug in periodontal disease

Seattle, USA: Aging has a profound impact on overall health and is the greatest risk factor for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and periodontal disease. However, these conditions are often treated on a case-by-case basis rather than targeting the underlying processes of aging. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a first-of-its-kind study that will evaluate the effectiveness of rapamycin in older adults with periodontal disease. Rapamycin is an FDA-approved drug commonly used in anti-aging research and has been shown to extend lifespan and improve healthspan in a variety of species.

Previous research has shown that rapamycin can improve aging in mice by inhibiting a process called the mTOR pathway, which cells use to control growth and energy use based on nutrients and signals they receive from the environment. . Although some studies have used rapamycin and its derivatives in humans, the current study is the first to receive FDA approval to study its effects on oral health and periodontal disease.

If periodontal disease is age-related and rapamycin can target the aging process and improve it, then we want to understand what happens to periodontal disease when rapamycin is used,” said Dr. Jonathan An, assistant professor of oral health sciences. .

In this study, researchers will give rapamycin to adults over 50 who have had periodontal disease for more than eight weeks. Participants will then receive a professional teeth cleaning.

“Currently, if you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, you will receive the same treatment at age 40 as you would at age 50 or 60,” Dr. An points out. “So for these older adults, if we give them rapamycin beforehand, we might be able to change their immune response and give them better outcomes rather than just superficial symptom relief.”

“Treating periodontal disease with rapamycin could not only change the way we treat dentistry but could also have a positive impact on global aging.”

In addition, the researchers plan to collaborate with local clinics and research groups to investigate the effects of rapamycin on participants' systemic health. For example, they will analyze markers of biological aging and the oral microbiome.

“Periodontal disease is thought to be linked to heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, all of which have potential risk factors of age,” commented Dr. An. He concluded: “Treating periodontal disease with rapamycin could not only change the way we treat dentistry but could also have a positive impact on global aging.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, periodontal disease affects more than 70% of adults over the age of 65.

More information about the study can be found here.


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