Headline, January 22 2022/ ARC : ''' '' AGEING -ANTI- AGEING '' '''

ARC : ''' '' AGEING -


TANTALIZING DATA SUGGEST THAT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO extend not only life span but also ''health span.'' The anti-aging science is just so alluring.

A human life span has a clear arc that ends naturally somewhere around the eighth or even ninth decade. But lately, as my parents age, I have found myself thinking differently about age and its meaning in medicine.

WE ARE at a unique time in America when it comes to aging. Our president recently turned 80, and the Senate is, on average, the oldest in history. People regularly survive medical diagnoses that would have meant an early death in years past.

Doctors find ourselves using age to frame the patient's story and in effect to grade its degree of tragedy.  A college student dying from respiratory failure after the flu is unacceptable, an end we must fight against with all that we have.

But if this patient were in her 80s, we might think differently of the narrative and the appropriate clinical interventions. Someone in her 30s should receive aggressive chemotherapy or a risky surgery or an organ transplant, but for someone in her 70s, those same interventions might do more harm than good.

At the same time, the field of anti-aging is gaining credibility, with tantalizing data that suggest that science might be able to extend not only life span but also ''health span'' - the amount of time that people spend healthy and active, with a good quality of life.

Though I am a critical-care doctor who tells patients and their families to look death in the eye and acknowledge reality, I am captivated by the promise of longevity medicine.

Through my 20s and much of my 30s, the years melted one into another, and I barely noted their passing.

YET aging looks and feels so different to me from what I once thought it would. On a recent trip to my family's home, I stood in the backyard and watched as my formerly sedentary 70-year-old father leaped up to grab a set of pull-up bars.

He keeps a half dozen supplement bottles in his refrigerator, on the same shelves where I once found half-eaten chocolate bars.

As his 60s drew to a close and the reality of old age began to creep in, my father - a cardiologist and researcher who has no plans to retire in the foreseeable future - started to delve into the growing body of academic papers on how he might slow the ticking clock.

He emails me the research from time to time, and I sift through it. One message was titled, ''Will prob be around for high school graduation.''

I took a beat before realizing that he was referring to the high school graduation of his first grandchild, to the fear that his own life will intersect with this little person's only briefly, to all that we wish we could ignore.

They say that thinking about death is like staring at the sun - you can tolerate it only for a moment before it becomes too painful. It is easier to come at it from my father's angle, reading not about death but about the science of how to extend life.

I find myself drawn in by images of aging mice racing longer, the promise within the science. What if the arc of aging that I have come to expect while working in the hospital is not inevitable?

Longevity researchers would tell you that aging itself is a disease that we can understand and treat, cancer and heart disease and dementia only its symptoms.

They would tell you that the first person to live until 150 has already been born. In a way this sounds preposterous, the dream of biotech billionaires, fueled by denial and fear of death and the illusion of control. But on the other hand there is real science here.

Simply being able to entertain this reality, and even more so thinking that it is in any way within our control, is a privilege - as was the choice to start a family after my 40th birthday.

The wealthiest among us live on average nearly 10-disability free years longer than the poorest. As the data behind anti-aging science become more robust and actionable, this difference is likely to grow even more profound. 

On the forefront of longevity science, there are companies that offer a simple answer. Prick your finger and send off a few drops of blood, and in return you will receive a report that offers its own estimate of your genetic age, based on impurities in your DNA and the length of your telomeres.

The protective DNA sequence at the end of our chromosomes that shorten and fray over time. Perhaps this value is meaningful, but it is not entirely clear that having a younger genetic than chronological age confers a longer or better life.

BUT it might. And there's a part of me that's tempted to send off my own blood, but I am not sure I want the information that I would receive in return.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Life, Quality and Longevity, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Dr. Daniela J. Lamas, a pulmonary and critical-care physician.

With respectful dedication to Mankind, Scientists, Researchers, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society -the exclusive ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! -The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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