Attempting a Crowdfunded Mouse Lifespan Study

A European and Russian group of researchers are attempting to crowdfund a modest amount for a short-term mouse life span study, using mice that are already old to see if various compounds have much of an effect on slowing aging in old mice. This sort of study design has the advantage of being comparatively cheap as it only runs for half a year or so:

Life is precious. Health too. This is why communities of researchers and citizens dedicate our lives to discover new ways to gain additional years of healthy life. As research progresses, more and more compounds are believed to be good to maintain health over long periods of time. But wouldn't that take decades of clinical trials to verify it? A key step is to do such a clinical trial... in mice : that is what we call a mouse lifespan test. Mouse lifespan tests are infrequent because of their length, their costs and the required environments; but it is crucially needed to continue adding years of healthy life.

Here, we step on the shoulders of giants : by contributing you can help us test a combination of drugs shown to extend healthy lifespan in mice. This experiment has something unique. It is the first time in the world that crowdfunding is used to test a combination of the most potent nongenetic-interventions known to extend the lifespan.

There are *right now* in the lab a sufficient number of aged mice (~20 months old) - male and female - which belong to the C57BL/6 strain to start a lifespan test. The mice will be divided into 2 test groups (females and males) and 2 control groups (24 animals per each group). The test will be blind. The food of the treated mice will contain: 1) An α-adrenergetic receptor blocker (metoprolol). Potential action: Prevents too fast heart beats. 2) An mTOR inhibitor (everolimus, similar action as rapamycin). Potential action: Puts cells in an active and resistant mode. 3) Metformin. Potential action: Normalizes blood and IGF-1 values at low levels. It also has potential similarities with everolimus. 4) Simvastatin. Action: Decreases the amount of LDL cholesterol (considered as 'bad' by some) in the blood. 5) Ramipril: an ACE inhibitor. Action: Prevents hypertension. 6) Aspirin. When small doses are used, it is believed to have reduced side effects while improving blood flow and therefore reducing cardiovascular risks, and potentially also preventing incidence of some cancers.

Link: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/i-am-a-little-mouse-and-i-want-to-live-longer/


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