Inhibitors of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) are arguably the most reliable of the current crop of compounds that slow aging by targeting stress response mechanisms, improving cellular health and resilience to some degree. The observed gain in life span in mice and lower species is likely to be much larger than the outcome achieved in longer-lived species such as our own, as that is unfortunately just the way things work for this class of approach to aging. Short-lived species evolved to have far greater plasticity of longevity in response to environmental circumstances.
The health benefits in old humans that can be obtained using mTOR inhibitors may well still be broad and sizable in comparison to most currently available medical technology for the treatment of age-related disease, but this is as much a suggestion that present technologies are not all that good, as it is a reflection of the utility of mTOR inhibitors. It seems likely that they won’t hold a candle to approaches that are based on repair of underlying damage, such as those of the SENS portfolio.
The core challenge in developing therapies based on inhibition of mTOR is that mTOR forms
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