Chronic diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and the major driver of health costs in the US. Aging is the leading risk factor for nearly all majr chronic diseases. Recent insights support the possibility that aging may be a modifiable risk factor. We hypothesize that by targeting fundamental mechanisms of aging, clinical interventions can be envisaged that could delay or prevent age-related diseases and disabilities as a group, rather than one at a time. We propose the following Specific Aims.
Aim 1. Establish a national interdisciplinary network of aging centers as the basis for a Geroscience Network to understand and exploit links between aging and genesis of chronic disease. Initial partners will include geriatricians and basic scientists from Mayo Clinic, Buck Institute, Barshop Institute, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Stanford, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Wake Forest Universities, and the Universities of Washington, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Michigan. By planning and working in a coordinated way through the Geroscience Network, we intend to accelerate development and translation of effective treatments to delay or prevent age-related disabilities and diseases.
Aim 2. Use retreats to initiate planning for strategies, translational paradigms, curricula, and other resources needed to test our hypothesis. To begin developing the strategies, personnel, and infrastructure necessary, we will delineate the strengths of each center, identify gaps and areas of overlap, and develop consensus about areas of focus.
Aim 3. Use faculty exchanges to bring together working groups to complete white papers, publications, and grants based on strategies and translational paradigms initiated during the retreats, continue planning for clinical trials networks, and develop curricula for developing personnel needed for translation of interventions arising from the basic biology of aging into clinical applications. These innovative approaches will allow us to translate findings from bench to bedside more rapidly than possible by individual centers, laboratories, and groups of geriatricians.
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and the major driver of health costs in the United States. Aging is the leading risk factor for nearly all major chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis, cancers, dementias, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, kidney disease, blindness, and frailty. Recent insights support the possibility that aging may be a modifiable risk factor.
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