'Anti-growth' hormone could reverse signs of aging

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 24, 2010 04:50 hrs

Scientists have discovered that a compound that acts opposite to a growth hormone could reverse the process of aging.

Saint Louis University researcher John E. Morley and his colleagues studied the compound MZ-5-156, a "growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) antagonist."

When tried on mice, the compound had positive effects on oxidative stress in the brain, improving cognition, telomerase activity (the actions of an enzyme which protects DNA material) and life span, while decreasing tumour activity.

It inhibited several human cancers, including prostate, breast, brain and lung cancers.he compound also exhibited positive effects on learning, and is linked to improvements in short-term memory.

William A. Banks at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, said the results lead the team "to determine that antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone have beneficial effects on aging."

The research was published in the Dec. 6 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)