Longevity and Rejuvenation for Beginners
Welcome! This area of the site has been created for people who are new to the topic of longevity, rejuvenation, and aging research. First things first, many people do not really know what aging is.
There are multiple theories, but one of the most popular and well supported is the Hallmarks of Aging, a 2013 paper that described aging as nine distinct categories (hallmarks) and explained how these interact with each other to drive the development of age-related diseases.
The graphic below gives a quick summary of the Hallmarks and why scientists believe they make us older.
This framework gives researchers insights into how they might directly target the hallmarks to prevent age-related diseases. If you would like to learn more about each of the hallmarks, you can find more information by clicking on one of the hallmarks below.
Current medical practice will not cure age-related diseases
Current medical practice treats all diseases using an infectious disease model; however, this approach performs poorly against age-related diseases, which have different fundamental causes.
The current approach works like this: as soon as a disease appears, the doctor attacks the disease using everything in the medical armory, and the patient can then continue their life until the next disease pops up, after which this process is repeated. This is a great way to deal with infectious diseases, and it has helped to increase life expectancy greatly in the last century.
However, this “whack-a-mole” approach is a poor choice when it comes to treating the chronic diseases of old age. This is because the damage the hallmarks cause still continues to take its toll; therefore, treating the symptoms will ultimately achieve very little and certainly not cure the related diseases.
This is also why older people frequently have multiple chronic conditions and have to take various drugs to manage them.
When you think about it, it is obvious why using an infectious disease model to treat the diseases of old age is never going to work: the hallmarks are the foundation of every single age-related disease.
In other words: We need to treat the causes, not the symptoms.
Treating the hallmarks might prevent age-related diseases
Treating the underlying hallmarks and repairing their damage, which leads to the familiar diseases of old age, is the logical next step for medicine.
And this is the basis for the medical approach known as rejuvenation biotechnology, a multidisciplinary approach that aims to prevent and treat age-related diseases by targeting the aging processes directly.
Remember: The greatest risk factor for age-related diseases is a person’s biological age. By repairing the underlying damage, it may be possible to keep tissues and organs biologically younger and healthier and thus prevent or reverse the diseases of old age.
Is aging too complex to understand?
A common misconception is that aging is too complex for us to understand, but, during the last decade or so, researchers have made great inroads into improving our understanding.
Thankfully new technologies such as Artificial intelligence (AI) applied in the lab setting has greatly increased progress and how fast research can be conducted. Analyzing large sets of data and looking for associations is something AI is particularly good at and this has helped scientists to speed up their research.
While it is true that science has yet to fully understand how we get old, current research has already given us a significant level of understanding. In the last decade our understanding has increased greatly, though there is a lot more work to be done before that knowledge can be considered complete.
The hallmarks themselves are probably not the full story and it is likely that as time passes, they will evolve as new things are discovered.
On the positive side, researchers know enough to begin testing interventions and there are several near or already in human clinical trials. You can find out the state of research progress by taking a look at the Rejuvenation Roadmap.
Do you want to know more?
If you are ready to learn more about this fascinating area of research, we have created a series of introductionary articles to help get you started.
- Rejuvenation biotechnology promises several benefits for individuals, but this technology, if thorough and widely adopted, would benefit larger groups of people, including your friends and family. If you are rejuvenated, that’s good for you, but a society with rejuvenation […]
- Part of our job at Lifespan.io is to inform everyone that rejuvenation biotechnologies need to happen, and we’re doing our best to make them happen as soon as possible. Common concerns don’t make it any easier, and we […]
- Rejuvenation biotechnologies promise to bring benefits to ourselves and the people close to us. Most people have no difficulty acknowledging these benefits, but even so, many people tend to focus on potential large-scale downsides of rejuvenation while entirely neglecting […]
- Many people dread the thought of getting old, not because getting older is anything to be ashamed of but because of the age-related diseases […]
- People call it life extension, rejuvenation, anti-aging, age-reversal, longevity research, geroscience, rejuvenation biotechnology, and even biomedical gerontology, but what exactly is it? What rejuvenation biotechnology is While “life extension” is technically correct, it […]
And once you are a bit more familiar with this exciting new field you may wish to explore our knowledge hubs. We have created a series of hubs focused on lifestyle, supplements, biology of aging, finance and blockchain, and advocacy. These hubs are packed with educational articles to help you make informed choices about your health and financial future.