The Critical Need to Promote Research of Aging and Aging-related Diseases to Improve Health and Longevity of the Elderly Population
On November 1-2, 2014, there took place in Beijing, China, the first International Conference on Aging and Disease (ICAD) of the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD, http://isoad.org/). It showcased some of the latest advances in aging and longevity research, including regenerative medicine, geroprotective substances and regimens.
The range of cutting edge, often breakthrough, topics and advances from over 60 presenters from around the world can be seen in the conference program http://isoad.org/content.aspx?info_lb=606&flag=103. The conference report, entitled “Stop Aging Disease!” (which is also the ISOAD official motto) was recently published in the ISOAD journal Aging and Disease, http://www.aginganddisease.org/EN/10.14336/AD.2015.0115 briefly describing a variety of the fields presented, from modulation of energy balance, through toxicology, genomics, proteomics and immunotherapy to systems biology, behavioral therapy and health research policy, aimed to achieve healthy longevity.
The conference provided yet another illustration of the great promise of longevity research. Yet a much greater effort and investment will be needed to bring advances in fundamental science toward safe, effective and universally accessible treatments for age-related ill health. Therefore, the conference further emphasized the vital importance of public support of research on biology of aging and aging-related diseases for public health, and offered some policy recommendations for its promotion. The rationale and recommendations can be found in the conference resolution http://isoad.org/content.aspx?info_lb=638&flag=103 and in the more detailed position paper, published on behalf of the ISOAD, following the conference, entitled “The Critical Need to Promote Research of Aging and Aging-related Diseases to Improve Health and Longevity of the Elderly Population” http://www.aginganddisease.org/EN/10.14336/AD.2014.1210. The policy recommendations include increasing funding, specific incentives and institutional support for aging and longevity research.
We invite the public to contribute to the widest possible recognition and support of biological research of aging and aging-related diseases. We welcome the readers to circulate this position paper, share it in your social networks, forward it to politicians, potential donors and media, organize discussion groups to debate the topics raised (that may later grow into grassroots longevity research and activism groups in different countries), translate this position paper into your language, reference and link to it, even republish it in part or in full, join the ISOAD or other aging and longevity research and advocacy organizations.
Consider focusing the discussions and promotions on special days of symbolic significance, such as February 21 – the 140th anniversary of the longest-lived human, Jeanne Calment (reaching the lifespan of 122 years), March 1 – The Future Day, April 7 - the UN World Health Day, May 15 – the 170th anniversary of the founder of scientific aging and longevity research, the author of the term “gerontology”, the Nobel Prize winner – Ellie Metchnikoff, October 1 – the UN International Day of Older Persons (celebrated by some parts of the longevity advocacy community as the “International Longevity Day”), November 10 – the UN World Science Day for Peace and Development, etc. Creating discussions, meetings and publications on aging and longevity research on several consecutive days or regularly, may only increase the impact.
Hopefully, thanks to our joint efforts “The Critical Need to Promote Research of Aging and Aging-related Diseases to Improve Health and Longevity of the Elderly Population” will be recognized and acted upon by all the segments of the society, from the grassroots through the professional to the decision-making level, with the effort corresponding to the urgency of the need.
International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD)