Trillions of pounds are spent every year by
health organisations across the globe in an attempt to fight the various
diseases of old age, but to depressingly little effect. Age-related diseases are
difficult to tackle for one simple very obvious reason: they are aspects of the
later stages of a degenerative process that goes on throughout life, namely,
As Aubrey de Grey, Chief Scientific
Officer, SENS Foundation says, ageing is a plausible and massively
cost-effective potential target for preventative geriatric medicines, yet
almost nothing is spent in the quest for such medicines. Why is this?
He thinks that it is largely because of
widespread fear of one likely side-effect of making them really work – a sharp
increase in longevity – an increase that would have dramatic societal
consequences. But he asks, "So What?" continuing, "today's
miseries associated with being old and frail, far outweigh any problem that the
defeat of ageing might herald. It is our clear and present moral obligation to
strive our utmost to achieve the postponement, and ideally the defeat, of
ageing as soon as possible".
Image Ari Seth Cohen: 100 year old New Yorker does her exercises.