An antidepressant used to treat humans can increase the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes, according to a study by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle (Petrascheck M et al. Nature.
By screening 88 000 chemicals for lifespan-enhancing effects on C elegans, the investigators identified the tetracyclic antidepressant mianserin (approved in New Zealand but not in the United States) as having these effects. Other antidepressants tested did not increase lifespan.
Hampton T. Aging and Antidepressants. JAMA. 2008;299(1):29. doi:10.1001/jama.2007.31