By Mary Kekatos Health Reporter For Dailymail.com and Dailymail.com Reporter
Published: 18:00 BST, 16 October 2019 | Updated: 18:02 BST, 16 October 2019
A fountain of youth drug could be on the horizon after the discovery of a brain protein that extends lifespan, a new study suggests.
Scientists say the protein, known as REST, slows the aging process by suppressing over-activity of neurons in the brain.
Past studies have linked excessive brain activity to memory and attention problems and disorders including dementia and epilepsy.
A study of the brains of people who had died between ages 60 and older than 100 found that individuals who were younger when they died had lower levels of REST.
Experiments then conducted in mice and worms found that blocking it led to higher neural activity and earlier deaths, but boosting it had the opposite effect.
The team, from Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says a drug that targets REST could be the secret to warding off age-associated diseases and be an anti-aging method for humans.
A new study from Harvard Medical School has found that a protein, known as REST, extends lifespan by blocking over-activity of neurons in the brain, which has been linked to early death (file image)
Previous studies have suggested the nervous system plays a role in aging, but the mechanisms were not well understood.
For the new study, published in the journal Nature, the team looked at donated brain tissue from hundreds of people who died between ages 60 and older than 100.
None of the participants had been diagnosed with any age-related brain diseases, such as