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Anticonvulsant medications extend worm life-span.

Genetic studies have elucidated mechanisms that regulate aging, but there has been little progress in identifying drugs that delay aging. Here, we report that ethosuximide, trimethadione, and 3,3-diethyl-2-pyrrolidinone increase mean and maximum life-span of Caenorhabditis elegans and delay age-related declines of physiological processes, indicating that these compounds retard the aging process. These compounds, two of which are approved for human use, are anticonvulsants that modulate neural activity. These compounds also regulated neuromuscular activity in nematodes. These findings suggest that the life-span-extending activity of these compounds is related to the anticonvulsant activity and implicate neural activity in the regulation of aging.

Pubmed ID: 15653505


  • Evason K
  • Huang C
  • Yamben I
  • Covey DF
  • Kornfeld K


Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Data

January 14, 2005

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIA NIH HHS, Id: P50 AG05681

Mesh Terms

  • Aging
  • Aldicarb
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Disorders of Sex Development
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Epilepsy, Absence
  • Ethosuximide
  • Female
  • Genes, Helminth
  • Humans
  • Lactams
  • Longevity
  • Movement
  • Muscles
  • Mutation
  • Neurons
  • Oviposition
  • Pharynx
  • Reproduction
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Transcription Factors
  • Trimethadione
  • Vulva