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Aging and Disease    2014, Vol. 5 Issue (3) : 196-202     DOI: 10.14336/AD.2014.0500196
Aging Is Not a Disease: Implications for Intervention
Suresh I. S. Rattan
Laboratory of Cellular Ageing, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark
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Aging of biological systems occurs in spite of numerous complex pathways of maintenance, repair and defense. There are no gerontogenes which have the specific evolutionary function to cause aging. Although aging is the common cause of all age-related diseases, aging in itself cannot be considered a disease. This understanding of aging as a process should transform our approach towards interventions from developing illusory anti-aging treatments to developing realistic and practical methods for maintaining health throughout the lifespan. The concept of homeodynamic space can be a useful one in order to identify a set of measurable, evidence-based and demonstratable parameters of health, robustness and resilience. Age-induced health problems, for which there are no other clear-cut causative agents, may be better tackled by focusing on health mechanisms and their maintenance, rather than only disease management and treatment. Continuing the disease-oriented research and treatment approaches, as opposed to health-oriented and preventive strategies, are economically, socially and psychologically unsustainable.

Keywords longevity      stress      homeostasis      homeodynamics      hormetics      hormesis      hormetin     
Corresponding Authors: Suresh I. S. Rattan   
Issue Date: 04 November 2014
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Suresh I. S. Rattan
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Suresh I. S. Rattan. Aging Is Not a Disease: Implications for Intervention[J]. Aging and Disease, 2014, 5(3): 196-202.
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Biological processMolecular mediators
Sensing and responding to intra- and extracellular stressReceptors and signaling molecules, stress-responding transcription factors, chaperones, anti-oxidative enzymes, cytokines, sirtuins
Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA repairDNA repair systems
Protein repair and degradation.Proteasome, protein repair systems
Removal and turnover of defective macromolecules and organellesAutophagosomes, lysosomes
Defences against reactive oxygen species and other free radicalsAntioxidants, antioxidative enzymes
Detoxification of chemicals and nutritional metabolitesCytchrome P450, phase-I and phase-II enzymes
Innate and adaptive immune responses and apoptosisCaspases, cytokines, antibodies
Wound healing, tissue regeneration and other higher order processes, including thermal regulation, neuro-endocrine balance, daily rhythmsCytokines, growth factors, signaling molecules
Table 1.  Biological maintenance and repair systems and their molecular mediators for longevity assurance and essential lifespan(modified from [23])
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