Every day, 100.000 people are dying because of old age, most of them spend years suffering from age related conditions and the majority of healthcare goes to people over 60 years old. Aging is the single biggest risk factor of virtually every significant human disease. There is a reason why "diseases" of aging such as Cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s Disease are almost only showing up in older indivduals. After living as a human for 50-60 years your risk of getting any of these are spiking dramatically. That‘s because things are changing in your body.
The sale of putative anti-aging products such as nutrition, skin care, hormone replacements, vitamins, supplements and herbs are massive, with the US market alone generating about $50 billion of revenue each year. Most of these do not even extend human life significantly (or at all). If these same people were to support the research in anti-aging/reverse-aging instead with similiar numbers, we would have access to longevity technologies exceedingly fast.
The matter of rejuvenation is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in nature, and we need the benefit of scale to be able to tackle many issues. The most important thing is to build a very good international infrastructure and create networks for the success to be flourishing. The field is enormously complex and this will be one of the first steps to achieve our goal and providing a network for scientists, labs and researchers around the world.
Governments are not yet willing to acknowledge the potential and importance of such new medicinal improvements. But the clock is ticking and there`s no time to wait and rely on them, It‘s time to step up now and get going, eventually they will jump on board, once they understand the magnitude of this.
How can we solve this?
Medical research tends to tackle age related diseases (ARD‘s) separately. After all, the illnesses are distinct: cancer arises from mutated DNA; heart disease from clogged up blood vessels and dementia from damaged brain cells. The biological processes that underpin the pathologies vary vastly and each needs specific treatment. In the past, it may have been a good idea trying to treat each condition separately, because we didn‘t know any better. It is fair to say that the greatest driver of disease in old age is old age itself and this is worked on way too little.
Most of it happens through the accumulation of damage in our cells, nonetheless it can all be traced back to a decline in our cells ability to keep homeostasis (cell maintenance), which leads to the accumulation of damage in our bodies, ultimately making us sick. Our genes are responsible for cell maintenance, or moreover their own regulation. To put it simply, we need to instruct our cell‘s information to keep the cell maintenance at a higher level than it currently operates at.
Our cell maintenance is already pretty good, but it‘s nowhere near 100% efficiency and there are other organisms out there which do that job much better, and we can learn from them. The most crucial element at this moment is to eradicate the basic mechanisms underlying these specific gene regulations through basic research. That‘s the only way to get rid of the aging problem and all the problems that come with it for good. With such new acquired knowledge we can develop ant-aging therapies. They could then be put into effect through gene therapy, although medication may also be an option.