The Herman Trend Alert
February 13, 2019
Treating Aging as a Disease
What if our bodies didn't have to deteriorate as we grew older? Though aging is too broad a concept to be reduced to a single, specific disease, a new generation of researchers, sometimes called geroprotectors, has come to the conclusion that aging is a disease.
Attracting the funding needed
In their new study "Biodemographers' Point of View", researchers Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova, suggest that it is imperative to recognize aging as a disease. They believe that only by this recognition and giving aging its own individual code in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) will we have the radical increase in funding that will prompt the development of new, efficient drugs.
Not all gerontologists agree
Other gerontologists are unwilling to think of aging as a scientific revolution in our concept of aging. Rather, the traditionalists think of this initiative more like promotion and marketing activities.
Russia is leading the way
Russia already has an aging code it uses in methodical recommendations on managing patients with physical weakness or lack of energy associated with old age. Following the design of the new geroprotectors and their Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trials, American gerontologists have successfully used the term "adult [geriatric] failure to thrive". In Russia, the term is interpreted as "the syndrome of psychophysical fading" or "the apathy of elder age."
An umbrella term
Aging is an overarching expression for all of the processes which contribute to the deterioration of the body as it adds years, i.e., any process involved in age-related degradation acts as a component of the aging process. Moreover, aging will never be reduced to a single, specific pathology.
Aging itself is not a failure of the system, but rather a process that increases the intensity of these failures with age. We agree with the Gavrilov and Gavrilova as well as a clinical gerontologist V.M. Novoselov, that we should welcome the addition of age-related diseases to the ICD.
What this insight means to us
We have only begun to see the result of a focus on slowing down the aging process. Developments in personalized medicine will make a significant difference in this realm, allowing us to provide each person with a roadmap to slowing down the aging process with the right lifestyle choices, including nutrition, exercise, and light and sound therapies.
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