There has been somewhat of a revolution in aging research in the last few years. However, for most people, this revolution has been a quiet one. Researchers have been quietly toiling away in the lab, while the significance of their discoveries, for the most part, has remained overlooked by the media and unseen by the public.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the aging process is not simply a one-way street; at least in animals, it is something that is amenable to intervention. Our understanding of what aging is and its processes has increased considerably in the last decade, and it is moving towards some exciting possibilities for healthier and longer lives.
Researchers have found that aging is comprised of a number of different processes, all working in concert with each other, causing our bodies to become increasingly frail and weak as time passes. These processes also facilitate the development of age-related diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and arthritis.
Now, the focus of many scientists is to directly target these aging processes in order to try to head off age-related diseases at the pass. The idea is that if the damage that the aging processes cause can be prevented or repaired, age-related diseases should not happen. This repair-based approach to treating age-related diseases is a new way of thinking in medicine and has the potential to radically change how we look at aging and how we treat age-related diseases.