Scientific Proceedings Dedicated to the 10th Anniversary of the Center for Life Sciences, National Laboratory Astana
Is ageing a disease? Do age-related diseases differ from ageing? Is ageing a bad thing? Is ageing a solvable medical problem?
The answers to such questions will be contradictory. For most people, it is even surprising that these questions can be posed because the answers are so self-evident, and this is true both for people whose answers will be “yes” and for those whose answers will be “no”. But the practical, simple answers to the obviously philosophical question of perceiving inevitability reflect little of the essence of the problem. The nature of the discussion of these issues will vary significantly by culture and historical tradition.
In our opinion, only one result can be practicable: a wider and clearer understanding that ageing is indeed a solvable medical problem, and we strive to contribute to the solution to this particular problem.
Thus, modern medicine is effective in preventing degeneration from age-related diseases, without delaying their onset, and thereby increasing the number of people with age-related diseases and the number of diseases affecting every elderly person. In addition, each ageing disease is now treated separately, which is expensive and can lead to unstable side effects. For example, chemotherapy used to treat cancer harms normal tissues and organs. Conversely, insulin, which is used to treat diabetes, is an ageing factor and can accelerate certain pathologies, such as cancer. (Note: on the contrary, due to some anti-ageing actions, the antidiabetic drug metformin prevents cancer). One solution is to delay the development of age-related diseases, thereby extending the duration of a quality, healthy life. But is it possible? The material in this book is an attempt to answer this question.