Curing the Diseases Associated With Aging
September 5, 2012
Curing Diseases Associated with Aging
We all age. There is no getting around it; we all suffer the effects of time on the human body. Sadly, the probability that each of us will die as the result of some severe pathology is 100 percent (Gems, 2011). But what if we can slow down the aging process or even stop it all together, what would be the effects on our social well-being and living for an additional 50-60 years? My “big idea” is to set up a social network system of peer groups to monitor seniors who are starting to exhibit signs of Alzheimer disease. This is an exciting time for Alzheimer’s disease clinical research. Thanks to advances in our understanding of this disease and powerful new tools for “seeing” and diagnosing it in people, scientists are making great strides in identifying potential new interventions to help diagnose, slow, treat, and someday prevent the disease entirely (09-7484, 2012). What would it be like if the diseases associated with aging such as cardiovascular disease that leads to heart attacks and strokes; neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s that erode the self; and macular degeneration which blinds and all the cancers were to become history. What would be the consequences on the environment and the economy?
What is stopping us from increasing our life span now? The cause of aging remains one of the great unsolved scientific mysteries. Still, the past decade has brought real progress in our understanding raising the prospect that treatments might one day be feasible. Yet aging is not a disease, and the prospect of treating aging is extraordinary in terms of the potential impact on the human condition, so would it be ethical to try to treat it (MD, 2012)?
The problem with aging is the deterioration at the molecular, cellular and physiological levels. An analogy might...