Advisory Board

Dr. Michael Petrascheck

The eFluxMedia article Antidepressant Might Lengthen Life said

A team of U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday that according to a new study conducted on worms, an antidepressant called mianserin might lengthen life. The drug appears to have extended by about 30 percent the life span of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and although there is a major difference between worms and humans, the scientists hope to find out whether the antidepressant has the same effect on people.
But even if mianserin helped us live longer, we would have to think twice whether to use it or not, as the life-extending benefits come at a cost. According to Michael Petrascheck of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, “Weight gain and increased appetite seems to be one of the side effects. It is one of the reasons these are not such popular antidepressants.”
The team of researchers led by Nobel Prize recipient Linda Buck did a random search through 88,000 different drug compounds before finding four drugs that extended life span by 20 to 30 percent; mianserin, which makes part from a class of drugs known as tetracyclic antidepressants, had the strongest effect.

Michael Petrascheck, Ph.D. is a researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He was previously staff scientist at ESBATech AG and is also interested in the biological challenges of space travel and the possibility of colonizing new planets or creating new habitats.
Michael coauthored DNA looping induced by a transcriptional enhancer in vivo, Organ Polarity in Arabidopsis. NOZZLE Physically Interacts with Members of the YABBY Family, Transcription Activation in Eukaryotic Cells, Two-Hybrid Selection Assay to Identify Proteins Interacting with Polymerase II Transcription Factors and Regulators, An antidepressant that extends lifespan in adult Caenorhabditis elegans, and Quenching accumulation of toxic galactose-1-phosphate as a system to select disruption of protein-protein interactions in vivo.
Michael earned his PhD in Biology/Immunology at Universität Zürich in 2001.
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