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To Help Aging Populations, Classify Organismal Senescence

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To Help Aging Populations, Classify Organismal Senescence

Comprehensive disease classification and staging is required to address unmet needs of aging populations

Science,

5 min read
4 take-aways
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What's inside?

Researchers propose a new classification system as a first step to help treat ailments of old age.


Editorial Rating

8

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  • Scientific
  • Applicable
  • For Experts

Recommendation

Some people view aging as inevitable. But what if people were to approach the ailments of old age as preventable, treatable and curable instead? In this article, more than two dozen experts argue for setting up a disease classification system through the World Health Organization that will allow basic and clinical researchers to do just that. Policymakers and fund-raisers will find this piece offers a novel and fertile approach to reducing the adverse impacts of senescence on humanity.

Summary

Aging is a global public health crisis, and science has the tools needed to treat aging-related diseases.

As people age, their organs and tissues degrade and suffer damage. The World Health Organization (WHO) has put out a call for researchers and clinicians to develop and apply treatments and cures for aging-related diseases.

The adverse effects of aging on tissues, organs and cells are clear. Researchers can trace DNA to the place it originated, so they can pinpoint where and how severely age-related deterioration is occurring. It’s well-known that if doctors remove senescence cells from the body, physical function improves, and some organisms and cell types don’t grow old.

To advance the treatment and cure of aging, researchers need a robust system to classify aging-related diseases.

The WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD) doesn’t currently classify...

About the Authors

Stuart R.G. Calimport is an honorary fellow at the University of Liverpool and a fellow with the Collaboration for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation. His co-authors are Barry L. Bentley, Claire E. Stewart, Graham Pawelec, Angelo Scuteri, Manlio Vinciguerra, Cathy Slack, Danica Chen, Lorna W. Harries, Gary Marchant, G. Alexander Fleming, Michael Conboy, Adam Antebi, Gary W. Small, Jesus Gil, Edward G. Lakatta, Arlan Richardson, Clifford Rosen, Karoly Nikolich, Tony Wyss-Coray, Lawrence Steinman, Thomas Montine, João Pedro de Magalhães, Judith Campisi and George Church.


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