Mayo Clinic, collaborators strategise to use drugs to treat age-linked diseases and disabilities

Washington: Rochester-based Mayo Clinic and members of the Geroscience Network have published six manuscripts that map strategies for taking new drugs that hold promise for treating multiple age-related diseases and disabilities.
According to Dr. James Kirkland, Director of the Mayo Clinic’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging, aging is the largest risk factor for most chronic diseases, including stroke, heart disease, cancer, dementias, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, blindness and frailty.

He said that the goal of the Geroscience Network is to accelerate the pace of discovery in developing interventions to delay, prevent or treat these conditions as a group, instead of doing so one at a time.

The first of the six manuscripts have successfully identified new drugs that extend lifespan in animals and the authors discuss the need to develop a consistent preclinical pipeline for drug development that focuses on best practices for drug discovery, development of lead compounds, translational preclinical biomarkers, funding and support for preclinical studies, and integration between researchers and clinicians.

The second manuscript acknowledges that aging therapies may hold “great promise” for enhancing the health of a wide population, with clinical trials being a critical step for translating therapies from animals into humans.

The other four manuscripts published are:

“Strategies and Challenges in Clinical Trials Targeting Human Aging”

“Resilience in Aging Mice”

“Evaluating Health Span in Preclinical Models of Aging and Disease: Guidelines, Challenges, and Opportunities for Geroscience”

“Moving Geroscience into Uncharted Waters”

According to Dr. Felipe Sierra, it has been calculated that care for the elderly currently accounts for 43 percent of the total health care spending in the US, or approximately a trillion dollars a year, and this number is expected to rise as baby boomers reach retirement age.

He also says that reeducing these costs is critical for the survival of society.

The Geroscience Network consists of 18 academic aging centers, along with the participation of more than 100 investigators from across the U.S. and Europe.

The network is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The articles appear in today’s edition of The Journals of Gerontology: Series A – Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. (ANI)