Marios Kyriazis and Andreas Apostolides Pages 227 - 234 ( 8 )
The process of aging is a continuum of degeneration which eventually leads to loss of function and clinically manifest disease. Yet, in the purely therapeutic sense, there is a distinct clinical and practical separation between age-related degenerative diseases and the background process of aging itself. It is quite possible that biomedical technologies will prove invaluable in treating or alleviating the impact of distinct age-related degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis or dementia. However, when it comes to addressing the fundamental, background stochastic nature of aging, it is unlikely that regenerative biotechnologies will have any appreciable impact in continually counteracting the process. In this paper we discuss some essential conceptual obstacles, both functional and translational, which will prove overwhelming and which preclude the notion that aging can be eliminated by using physical therapies. Our reasoning is two-fold: 1. Disruptive regenerative biotechnologies interfere with the complex, dynamic topological architecture of the human organism, in a manner that will render them unsuitable for clinical use against all age-related degeneration. 2. Even if some regenerative biotechnological treatments are developed in the laboratory, the translational issues will be insurmountable, and the treatments will thus be practically unusable by the general public at large. Predictions about the near or mid-term development of rejuvenating biotechnologies are not sufficiently grounded, and do not provide a framework for effective practical achievement of negligible senescence. Instead, the answer must lie in more global and abstract methods which align well with evolutionary mechanisms based on techno-cultural societal necessities. These are likely to operate in a way which ultimately may downgrade the importance of human aging and make it an evolutionarily unnecessary process.
Biotechnologies, cellular networks, clinical medicine, complexity, rejuvenation, translational medicine.
European Commission, Biomedical Gerontologist & Anti-ageing, Physician at ELPIs Foundation for Indefinite Lifespans, London, UK.