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Increased healthcare and pharmaceutical understanding has led to the eradication of many childhood, infectious and preventable diseases; however, we are now experiencing the impact of aging disorders as the lifespan increases. These disorders have already become a major burden on society and threaten to become a defining challenge of our generation. Indications such as Alzheimer's disease gain headlines and have focused the thinking of many towards dementia and cognitive decline in aging. Indications related to neurological function and related behaviors are thus an extremely important starting point in the consideration of therapeutics. However, the reality is that pathological aging covers a spectrum of significant neurological and peripheral indications. Development of therapeutics to treat aging and age-related disorders is therefore a huge need, but represents a largely unexplored path. Fundamental scientific questions need to be considered as we embark towards a goal of improving health in old age, including how we 1) define aging as a therapeutic target, 2) model aging preclinically and 3) effectively translate from preclinical models to man. Furthermore, the challenges associated with identifying novel therapeutics in a financial, regulatory and clinical sense need to be contemplated carefully to ensure we address the unmet need in our increasingly elderly population. The complexity of the challenge requires different perspectives, cross-functional partnerships and diverse concepts. We seek to raise issues to guide the field, considering the current state of thinking to aid in identifying roadblocks and important challenges early. The need for therapeutics that address aging and age-related disorders is acute, but the promise of effective treatments provides huge opportunities that, as a community, we all seek to enable effectively as soon as possible.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews
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