If we classified aging as a disease, would it change the way we treat it?

how to grow old and happy together
Image: Seyfettin Dincturk/Unsplash

What would change if we classified aging itself as the disease? 

David Sinclair, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, is one of those on the front line of this movement. Medicine, he argues, should view aging not as a natural consequence of growing older, but as a condition in and of itself. Old age, in his view, is simply a pathology—and, like all pathologies, can be successfully treated. If we labeled aging differently, it would give us a far greater ability to tackle it in itself, rather than just treating the diseases that accompany it.

It is a subtle shift, but one with big implications. How disease is classified and viewed by public health groups such as the World Health Organization (WHO) helps set priorities for governments and those who control funds. Regulators, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have strict rules that guide what conditions a drug can be licensed to act on, and so what conditions it can be prescribed and sold for. Today aging isn’t on the list. Sinclair says it should be, because otherwise the massive investment needed to find ways to fend it off won’t appear.

Read full, original post: What if aging weren’t inevitable, but a curable disease?

Related article:  Searching for a ‘fountain of youth’ in our genes
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