There is a growing interest in the treatment of aging as a medical condition, targeting mechanisms that cause aging or that are involved in the pathologies of aging. In the research community this manifests as increased funding, a greater output of potential therapies, more conferences, and more high level reviews of the state of the field, such as the paper noted here. An uptick in reviews in any part of the life siences might be taken as a sign that a field is attracting new participants. On the one hand more researchers want to learn about the state of the science because they are hearing more discussion of the field in their communities, while on the other hand more researchers recently learned enough as a result of participation to consider writing a review for the next set of newcomers.
Aging is a physiological process mediated by numerous biological and genetic pathways, which are directly linked to lifespan and are a driving force for all age-related diseases. Human life expectancy has greatly increased in the past few decades, but this has not been accompanied by a similar increase in their healthspan. At present, research on aging biology has focused on elucidating the biochemical and genetic pathways that contribute to aging over time. Several aging mechanisms have been identified, primarily including genomic instability, telomere shortening, and cellular senescence.
Aging is a driving factor of various age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, immune system disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders. Efforts to find drugs that improve the healthspan by targeting the pathogenesis of aging have now become a hot topic in this field. In the present review, the status of aging research and the development of potential drugs for aging-related diseases, such as metformin, rapamycin, resveratrol, senolytics, as well as caloric restriction, are summarized. The feasibility, side effects, and future potential of these treatments are also discussed, which will provide a basis to develop novel anti-aging therapeutics for improving the healthspan and preventing aging-related diseases.