Considering Longevity Medicine and the Education of Physicians

A part of the process of moving therapies to slow or reverse aging from the laboratory to the clinic is educating the physician population. While the scientific community is largely on board with the goal of controlling the processes of aging, the same is not true of the medical community. The first useful rejuvenation therapies already exist, in the form of senolytic treatments, particularly the combination of dasatinib and quercetin. There is thus more advocacy and persuasion yet to be accomplished in order for physician networks to emerge and enable widespread use of the first viable treatments for aging.

Longevity medicine is advanced personalised preventive medicine powered by deep biomarkers of aging and longevity, and is a fast-emerging field. The field encompasses the likewise rapidly evolving areas of biogerontology, geroscience, and precision, preventive, and functional medicine. With modern advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, biomarker research and drug development have produced numerous tools for early diagnostics and prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases, which remain largely unknown to the global medical community.

The notion of longevity and healthy aging as a major priority for healthcare will undoubtedly substantially impact primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. Therefore, it is essential that practicing doctors have access to the appropriate education through a credible curriculum in longevity medicine.

The development of longevity-focused medical practices greatly depends on bridging the gap between health-care providers and interdisciplinary experts, such as academic biogerontologists, artificial intelligence experts, computer scientists, and informaticians. Health-care providers require customised courses on the most recent advances in longevity medicine and on how this knowledge can be implemented in the practice. Patients have insufficient access to the health-care providers who have been adequately trained in longevity medicine and can manage a patient from a longevity medicine standpoint. Viable longevity education with practical translation will thus ultimately improve health-care systems worldwide and decrease disease occurrence by training health-care providers to tackle the most common and strongest contributor of disease - unhealthy aging.

Aging is the greatest risk factor for most acute and chronic diseases. Previous decades have shown that we are now on the cusp of being able to intervene in the aging process, probably allowing us to decrease overall mortality and morbidity rates in elderly individuals. Although this progress has mostly occurred at the academic level, there is now a great need for expanding this knowledge into the realm of clinical practice. With this Comment, we hope to encourage this necessary step towards implementation of longevity education for health-care providers worldwide.