Manic is exploring the effects of drugs such as rapamycin in Covid-19. She is being tested in nursing homes who are experiencing an outbreak of the disease. For four weeks, half of the participants were given medication, while the other half were given a placebo. Among those given placebo, “25% of them developed severe covid, and half of them died,” says Manick, who has yet to publish the work. None of the drug users developed Kovid-19 symptoms.
“There are many strategies to help the aging immune system fight better against covid,” she says. “Aging is the biggest risk factor for severe covid, and it is a modifiable risk factor.”
She hopes to continue her drug use beyond Covid-19; A regenerated immune system can theoretically prevent many other viral and bacterial infections. Her colleague Stanley Pearlman, a coronavirologist at the University of Iowa who co-authored research on the bioavoid covid drug in mice, has a future epidemic in mind. “The next time another coronavirus comes in 2030, maybe all this information will be very useful,” he says.
Out with the old
The immune system is not the only target of anti-aging drugs. Others aim to get older cells out. Most of the cells in our body divide up to a certain point. Once they reach this limit, they die and are eliminated by the immune system. But that’s not always the case – some cells persist. These cells no longer divide, and some instead produce toxic decoctions of chemicals that stimulate harmful inflammation in the surrounding area and beyond.
The cells that do this are called “senses” and they accumulate in our organs with age. They are linked to a growing number of age-related diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, cataracts, and Alzheimer’s ચિ the list goes on. They also appear to play an important role in coronavirus infections.
In research published yet, James Kirkland, who studies aging and cell sensation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, says he has evidence that coronavirus infects sensory cells more quickly than non-sensory cells. Their research also suggests that scented cells release chemicals that carry the virus to neighboring non-scented cells, he says.
These cells not only carry more coronaviruses, but they also provide breeding ground for new virus types. “There is growing evidence that Sensant cells infected with the coronavirus can mutate the virus,” says Kirkland. “So they can also be the cause of viral mutations.”
As an additional concern, coronavirus can stimulate healthy cells. In view of all this, anti-aging and Covid-19 therapy has become a clear target. Studies on mice and hamsters suggest that compounds that kill sensory cells may improve Covid-19 symptoms and increase their chances of survival.