New Directions in Research on Aging

Author: Andrzej Bartke1
1 Department of Internal Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, 801 N. Rutledge St., P. O. Box 19628, Springfield, IL, 62794-9628, USA.
Conference/Journal: Stem Cell Rev Rep
Date published: 2021 Nov 23
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s12015-021-10305-9. , Word Count: 264

Biology of aging is an active and rapidly expanding area of biomedical research. Over the years, focus of work in this field has been gradually shifting from studying the effects and symptoms of aging to searching for mechanisms of the aging process. Progress of this work led to an additional shift from looking for "the mechanism" of aging and formulating the corresponding "theories of aging" to appreciation that aging represents a net result of multiple physiological changes and their intricate interactions. It was also shown that mechanisms of aging include nutrient-dependent signaling pathways which have been remarkably conserved in the course of the evolution. Another important development in this field is increased emphasis on searching for pharmacological and environmental interventions that can extend healthspan or influence other aspects of aging. Progress in understanding the key role of aging as a risk factor for chronic disease provides impetus for these studies. Data from the recent pandemic provided additional evidence for the impact of age on resilience. Progress of work in this area also was influenced by major analytical and technological advances, including greatly improved methods for the study of gene expression, protein, lipids, and metabolites profiles, enhanced ability to produce various genetic modifications and novel approaches to assessment of biological age. Progress in research on the biology of aging provides reasons for optimism about the chances that safe and widely applicable anti-aging interventions with significant benefits for both individual and public health will be developed in the not too distant future.

Keywords: Aging; Geroscience; Healthspan; Interventions; Lifespan.

PMID: 34816354 PMCID: PMC8610443 DOI: 10.1007/s12015-021-10305-9