The burden of the aging on the economies of the developed countries in the form of rapidly increasing dependency ratios and unfunded social security and healthcare liabilities is turning the quest to increase healthy life spans into a pressing economic priority required to preserve the current standards of living. There is an urgent need to develop and validate interventions with geroprotective properties to increase the productive health spans of the working population and maintaining performance and avoiding loss of function.
The key opinion leaders in academia, the pension fund community, government and pharmaceutical industry have voiced concerns about the possible crisis and made calls to transform the current research and healthcare paradigms to focus on increasing the healthy productive longevity by refocusing the efforts from treatment to prevention.
One of the impediments for the industry transformation is the way aging is treated. And while no doubt exists that aging is a complex multifactorial process with no single cause or treatment, the issue whether aging can be classified as the disease is widely debated. This disagreement leads to the inability to classify aging as a disease and fit the possible treatment options into the established research, regulatory, insurance and marketing frameworks. Is it time to put the philosophical disagreements aside and start treating aging as the disease in a concerted attempt to increase productive longevity?
The intent of this research topic is to combine the perspectives and reviews from the representatives of the academic and non-profit research community as well as from the pension funds, insurance organizations and pharmaceutical companies.
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