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Degenerative Aging as a Treatable Condition

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whologoRecognizing Degenerative Aging as a Treatable Medical Condition


Ilia Stambler, PhD


There has been recently an intensifying discussion among longevity researchers and advocates about the inclusion of the Degenerative Aging Process as a recognized and treatable medical condition, that would include the systemic factors that contribute to diseases and frailty.

The underlying, apparently plausible rationale for this suggestion is that the recognition of degenerative aging as a treatable medical condition would enable the existing legal frameworks to better tackle diseases and conditions that arise from the aging process from a preventative healthcare model. In particular, pharmaceutical, biomedical and wellness industry could then develop for market quickly new and existing preventative medications, biomedical technologies and regimens, that would decrease long-term healthcare costs. Moreover, such a recognition would open up new public funding for new pharmaceutical and biomedical research and development. However, how do we achieve this recognition within the existing legal frameworks? And, more importantly, how do we translate this formal recognition into implementation, into establishing new research, development and healthcare programs at the international, national and institutional levels? And even more importantly, how do we translate these programs into actual biomedical treatments and cures, effective, safe and accessible for the widest public possible?

All these issues must become a subject of massive and pluralistic consultation of scientists and other stakeholders. An initial deliverable could be a collection of papers and expert opinions dedicated to the subject. With this evidential and expert basis, it may be expedient to develop more precise policy recommendations and approaches for further consultation with the relevant WHO departments and affiliates, such as the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) program, the WHO Multi-Country Studies Unit, the WHO Collaborating Centre on International Longitudinal Studies of Gender, Ageing and Health, the developers of the ICD and ISF, WHO Department of Aging and Lifecourse, in particular the GSAP, WHO Program on Non-communicable Diseases and their Risk Factors, UN NGO Committee on Aging, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs – Division for Social Policy and Development, implementation agencies of the UN Sustained Development Goals (esp. SDG3 on healthcare)  and other relevant authorities.




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