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New science could advance senior health

Created date

August 14th, 2018
New advancements in senior health are exciting!

New advancements in senior health are exciting!

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) mission is “to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.” 

NIH-funded research addresses the major diseases responsible for illness and death. So far, developing treatments for one disease at a time has been productive, but scientists wonder if this approach truly benefits seniors—specifically the chronic aging diseases that affect them, such as neurological diseases, metabolic syndromes, cancer, and heart disease.

‘Geroscience’

To help find answers, the NIH has developed a new science, called “geroscience,” that will benefit seniors. The NIH states the field focuses on understanding links between aging and chronic disease and developing new preventive and therapeutic approaches for multiple diseases.

Previous research has shown that interventions that extend lifespan in organisms often delay or prevent many chronic diseases. Geroscience researchers understand that biological systems and processes change with aging. They hope to find out how to extend what they call “healthspan,” which is a significant extension in “health life expectancy.”

This all sounds rather theoretical, but the researchers say geroscience studies will result in more concrete solutions to advance the health of seniors. They have developed a journal called Geroscience that will publish articles on biomedical topics that impact aging, such as evolutionary biology, biophysics, genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, endocrinology, immunology, physiology, pharmacology, neuroscience, and psychology.

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