A Man Does Not Grow Old Like a Cart, But Rather Like a Horse

Here is an interview in Russian with with researcher Alexei Moskaliev, associated with the Science for Life Extension Foundation. The Russian gerontology community's view of aging has a somewhat different slant from that of the English language world - there is more of a tendency towards the programmed aging viewpoint, for one thing, in which aging is thought to be a genetic program that leads to damage rather than damage that causes epigenetic changes in response.

Automated translation of Russian remains terrible, I should note, so be prepared to have to interpret the output where it becomes confusing:

Stress leads to substantial deviations of the external and internal parameters of the optimum life span of cells (concentration of nutrients, pH, oxygen level and temperature). Oxidative stress, genotoxic stress, mitochondrial stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress - different kinds of complex intracellular processes leading to the accumulation of damaged cellular structures. Damaged cells cope worse with the problems, and are not able to participate in physiological functions and tissue regeneration.

Gerontologists often talk about the fundamental difference between aging "carts" and aging "horses." The cart accumulates damage and ceases to perform its function. The horse is actively opposing internal failure at the level of each cell for as long as these arrangements do not themselves fail, and this is called stress tolerance. Mechanisms involving DNA damage response proteins, membrane lipids, and detoxification of toxins work with reduced effectiveness with advancing age. Therefore, the real cause of aging is not actually the accumulation of cell damage but rather the loss of mechanisms to combat injuries.

Many diseases are characterized by an exponential growth with increasing age, indicating that their direct connection with aging. This suggests that aging is the cause of most of these diseases (many types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, cataracts, type II diabetes, etc.) and an important risk factor for other causes of death (viral diseases, accidents, etc.). Some authors believe that it's time to talk about aging as a disease, and age-related pathologies are its manifestations or biomarkers. The adoption of this approach would change modern medicine.

In struggling with specific manifestations (individual age-related pathologies) doctors reach only short-term success. By suppressing the causes of aging, including age-related decline in the activity of stress-resistance genes we may expect much more progress in both prolonging life and improving quality of life.

Link: http://translate.google.com/translate?u=www.gazeta.ru/health/2013/05/29_a_5360833.shtml


Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.