The Need for a Paradigm Shift in Medical Research

Maria Konovalenko considers the present day mainstream of medical science: "Considering the success of the moon race, why isn’t there a comparable race against aging and its terrible diseases? Why is there so much opposition to promising developments such as therapeutic cloning or stem cell research? Why is modern medicine, and society at large, investing so much in trying to extend the last years of life (often spent in a nursing home) instead of trying to extend the period of youthful vigor? Mainstream medicine [operates] from the mortalist paradigm: it assumes that aging is 'normal' and nothing can be done about it. Weight gain, hearing and vision loss, a rise in blood pressure, a decline in muscle mass - all these are regarded as normal manifestations of aging. Since aging is not regarded as a disease, much less the most important disease, it is acceptable to treat only the symptoms of this universal, underlying degenerative syndrome. It is OK to treat heart disease or Alzheimer's, but not OK to try to slow the aging process itself, much less aim at physiological rejuvenation - even though this would be the most cost-effective solution to the catastrophic rise in medical costs as the population ages. We think medicine badly needs a paradigm shift."



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