Scientists Are Ambitious To Find The Secret To Longevity


Scientists created the Human Longevity Laboratory, to find out how old you really are, physiologically.

If the physiological age turns out to be less than optimal, the doctor will determine the reason and examine a series of body systems as well as neurological and orthopedic health. Then, we will be prescribed interventions to prevent further decline or restore vitality.

It sounds like science fiction, but this is actually the mission of the Potocsnak Longevity Institute which was just launched this week, at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, United States.

The Human Longevity Laboratory is just one part of an ambitious multi-center institution whose goal is to drive new discoveries and build on Northwestern's ongoing research in the fast-growing anti-aging science.

"The biological processes that drive aging may be softening. We think we can slow down that process, delay it, even theoretically reverse it. The curtain is drawn back on what drives aging. We wanted to contribute to that larger process of discovery," says Douglas Vaughan, MD. , director of the new institute and chair of medicine at Northwestern.

The aim of the institute is to expand what Vaughan calls the human 'range of health'. Scientists and doctors will discuss periods of life when people are at greatest risk for aging-related comorbidities such as arthritis, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, aging-related cancers and hypertension.

"We want to enable healthy living for longer periods of time, not just longer lives. Aging is the most important risk factor for any disease we treat in adult medicine. If we can push the process back, we can push the disease back, said Vaughan, who is also the Irving S Cutter Professor of Medicine.

The new institute builds on decades of work by Vaughan and scientists across Northwestern, who put together a program to study populations that appear to be resilient to some of the negative consequences of aging.

Other projects will continue to explore the biological levers that drive aging and investigate approaches, including new drugs, to minimize the effects of aging and prolong the healthy lifespan of older adults.

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