Most of the time when Glenn Reynolds says “Faster, please,” I shrug and say “That’s nice.”
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have found a protein normally involved in blood pressure regulation in a surprising place: tucked within the little “power plants” of cells, the mitochondria. The quantity of this protein appears to decrease with age, but treating older mice with the blood pressure medication losartan can increase protein numbers to youthful levels, decreasing both blood pressure and cellular energy usage. The researchers say these findings, published online during the week of August 15, 2011, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may lead to new treatments for mitochondrial–specific, age-related diseases, such as diabetes, hearing loss, frailty and Parkinson’s disease.
Hmmmm. I’m not a mouse, old or otherwise, but as it happens, I switched my hypertension medicine to a losartan/hydrochlorothiazide combo a couple of years ago, shortly before it became available as a generic. Did this buy me any time? Who knows? But for once, I’m (slightly) ahead of the curve.