The concept of aging is undergoing a rapid transformation in medicine. The question has long been asked: Is aging a natural process that should be accepted as inevitable, or is it pathologic, a disease that should be prevented and treated?
[T]oday, the biomedical community is rethinking its answer to this question….
In a biological sense, the mere passage of time is pathological. Importantly, most of the early changes in this progression…are symptomless. Yet they are precursors to life-threatening illness and are therefore considered pathologic entities in their own right, to be prevented and treated. The same can be argued of the more subtle and gradual damages of aging.
We can and should view these diseases [like arthritis, stroke, and dementia]…as the clinical manifestations of natural age-related changes. Doctors have long targeted such changes to prevent disease. For instance, by recommending their patients limit the fat and carbohydrate content of their diets, doctors have strived to stave off heart disease. In so doing they unknowingly have been battling aging itself.
Yet there are those who find this view of aging contentious…[However i]f I were to replace the call for a “fight against aging” with an invitation to “combat age-related changes,” I would expect a far more positive response.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Opinion: Aging, Just Another Disease