Healthspan, not just lifespan


[tweetmeme source=”blogbrut”]In a press release about a study showing that slowing aging by lowering activity of the IGF-1 signaling pathway protects Alzheimer’s-prone mice from that disease, researcher Andrew Dillin is quoted that

The reporting of this work is a celebration for the entire field of aging researchers, as it validates the long-held hypothesis that genetic and pharmacologic changes to create a healthy lifespan, or ‘healthspan,’ can greatly reduce the onset of some of the most devastating diseases that afflict mankind.

Too bad the phrase “life extension” brings with it an undercurrent of attempted immortality, when what most people really wish for is to avoid the diseases of old age, especially those of the brain, which, like Alzheimer’s, are no less a threat to “self-preservation” than is death itself.

Maybe “health extension” or “healthspan extension” would communicate the actual goal more effectively.

While we’re waiting for the anti-aging pills, one promising tactic against aging is caloric restriction. See also “Stop trying to lose weight“.

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