Study shows drug intended for seniors increases muscle mass 20% with minimal side effects

November 19, 2008

Virginia (ChattahBox) — Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System are reporting that a daily single oral dose of an investigational drug, MK-677, increased muscle mass in the arms and legs of healthy older adults without serious side effects.

The study drug, MK-677, mimics the action of ghrelin, a peptide that stimulates the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR). Drug developers are focusing on GHSR because it plays an important role in the regulation of growth hormone and appetite. They think it may prove to be an excellent treatment target for metabolic disorders such as those related to body weight and body composition.

Published in the November 4, 2008 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, the study showed that levels of growth hormone (GH) and of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF- I) in seniors who took MK-677 increased to those found in healthy young adults. The drug restored 20 percent of muscle mass loss associated with normal aging, suggesting that it may prove safe and effective in reducing age-related frailty.  Dr. Michael O. Thorner, a nationally recognized researcher of growth hormone regulation and a professor of internal medicine and neurosurgery at the University of Virginia says:

“Our study opens the door to the possibility of developing treatments that avert the frailty of aging. The search for anti-frailty medications has become increasingly important because the average American is expected to live into his or her 80s, and most seniors want to stay strong enough to remain independent as they age.”

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the two-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled, modified-crossover study involved 65 men and women ranging in age from 60 to 81.

According to Dr. Thorner, the UVA research was a “proof-of-concept” study that sets the stage for a larger and longer clinical trial to determine whether MK-677 is effective in people who are frail and to assess its long term safety.

Reported by: BreakThroughDigest


Comments

One Response to “Study shows drug intended for seniors increases muscle mass 20% with minimal side effects”

  1. Aiyna on November 24th, 2008 3:07 am

    In recent years, research indicates that younger athletes are increasingly experimenting with these drugs to improve both appearance and athletic abilities. Ergogenic drugs that are commonly used by youths today include anabolic androgenic steroids, steroid precursors, growth hormone, creatine, and ephedra alkaloids. To combat this drug abuse, there have been recent changes in the legal status of several substances, changes in the rules of youth athletics including drug testing of high school students, and educational initiatives designed for the young athlete.
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    Aiyna

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