Why We Need to Change the Approach to Aging
The present day mainstream approach to age-related degeneration, disease and frailty is a function and outgrowth of a historical lack of knowledge; if you don't know why the dam is crumbling, you get to plugging the holes and damn the expense. When plugging the holes is all you can do, then it's all you can do - it'll cost the moon and the dam will collapse only a little later than it would otherwise have done.
We can do better than this. Not right now, but soon. It will only be soon, however, if the research and funding communities stop piling the vast majority of their resources into plugging the holes. They need to start developing different, better approaches based on tackling what we know to be the root causes of aging.
While not recommending an article I noted recently as a paragon of common (or economic) sense, it's an eye-opener on the cost front:
The care of people with chronic illness accounts for more than 75 percent of all U.S. health care expenditures
So much of that chronic illness stems from age-related cellular damage - and the medical care is very much a matter of patching up holes in the dam.
As to the rest of that article, it comes back to matters of freedom and choice. The author talks about overspending and misallocation of resources - but who gets to decide? In a socialist medical system such as that under construction in the US, the decision maker is not you, the one who desires treatment. That's a fundamental problem of another stripe, and one that will doom medical research and commercialization if it proceeds.
To obtain the future of medicine we would like - in which low-cost, effective healthy life extension technologies exist - we must fight for freedom in medicine and better approaches to anti-aging research with every step of the way.
Technorati tags: activism, advocacy, libertarian, life extension
It is important to oppose traditional entities run by crooks defending their turf at the expense of patients, and practicioners of CAM.