Research shows safe dosages of common pain reliever may help prevent conditions related to aging

September 23, 2009
Research shows safe dosages of common pain reliever may help prevent conditions related to aging
Dr. Eric Blough and his colleagues at Marshall University have shown that acetaminophen ingestion, at least in animals, can be safely used for the treatment of age-related muscle loss. Credit: Rick Haye, Marshall University

Recent studies conducted by Dr. Eric Blough and his colleagues at Marshall University have shown that use of the common pain reliever acetaminophen may help prevent age-associated muscle loss and other conditions.

Their study examined how acetaminophen may affect the regulation of B (Akt), an enzyme known to play an important role in regulation of cellular survival, proliferation and metabolism.

The researchers' data indicates that aging skeletal muscles experience a decrease in the proper functioning of the enzyme and that acetaminophen intervention in aged animals could be used to restore Akt activity to a level comparable to that seen in young animals. In turn, this improvement in Akt activity was associated with improvements in muscle cell size and decreased muscle cell death.

"Using a model that closely mimics many of the age-associated physiological changes observed in humans, we were able to demonstrate that chronic acetaminophen treatment in a recommended dosage is not only safe but might be beneficial for the treatment of the muscle dysfunction many people experience as they get older," said Blough, an associate professor in the university's Department of Biological Sciences.

The lab's work, which was published in the July 29 issue of the international research journal , is the first study to show that acetaminophen ingestion, at least in animals, can be safely used for the treatment of age-related muscle loss. This finding could have far-reaching implications, given the fact that people age 65 and older make up the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.

Additional research in their laboratory, which was published in the March issue of the journal Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, demonstrates the medication may also be useful in diminishing the severity of age-associated hyperglycemia, commonly referred to as high blood sugar.

"It is thought that acetaminophen may exert its action by decreasing the amount of reactive oxygen species," explained Dr. Miaozong Wu, the lead author and a postdoctoral fellow in Blough's lab. "Given the finding that increases in reactive oxygen species may play a role in the development of several age-associated disorders, it is possible that acetaminophen could be used to treat many different types of conditions."

Dr. John Maher, vice president for research and executive director of the Marshall University Research Corporation, said, "These findings are yet another indication that Marshall's researchers are conducting vital research in areas of great importance to human health and safety. I could not be more pleased and wish Dr. Blough and his team continued success."

According to Blough, scientists in his lab will now turn their attention to examining other physiological systems, such as the heart and blood vessels, to see if therapy might have similar benefits for people with cardiovascular disease.

Source: Marshall University

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Fabric imbued with optical fibers helps fight skin diseases

February 23, 2018
A team of researchers with Texinov Medical Textiles in France has announced that their PHOS-ISTOS system, called the Fluxmedicare, is on track to be made commercially available later this year. The system consists of a piece ...

DNA gets away: Scientists catch the rogue molecule that can trigger autoimmunity

February 22, 2018
A research team has discovered the process - and filmed the actual moment - that can change the body's response to a dying cell. Importantly, what they call the 'Great Escape' moment may one day prove to be the crucial trigger ...

Low-calorie diet enhances intestinal regeneration after injury

February 22, 2018
Dramatic calorie restriction, diets reduced by 40 percent of a normal calorie total, have long been known to extend health span, the duration of disease-free aging, in animal studies, and even to extend life span in most ...

Gut microbes protect against sepsis—mouse study

February 22, 2018
Sepsis occurs when the body's response to the spread of bacteria or toxins to the bloodstream damages tissues and organs. The fight against sepsis could get a helping hand from a surprising source: gut bacteria. Researchers ...

Artificial intelligence quickly and accurately diagnoses eye diseases and pneumonia

February 22, 2018
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, researchers at Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health and University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in China, Germany and Texas, ...

Fertility breakthrough: New research could extend egg health with age

February 22, 2018
Women have been told for years that if they don't have children before their mid-30s, they may not be able to. But a new study from Princeton University's Coleen Murphy has identified a drug that extends egg viability in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.