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Clinical Practice of Anti-Aging Medicine


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#1 ensun

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 10:28 AM


I am seriously considering going to medical school. One thing I am very fascinated by is the advancement in the science of aging. I know there are many things that have been proven to extend lifespan in mice and other animals. However, nothing has been "proven" in humans.

Despite that, we do have many drugs, treatments and supplements which can theoretically slow aging. We also have many tests and relative "biomarkers" of aging for those interested in their progress.

So I would like opinions. Is it feasible to exclusively practice anti-aging medicine 5+ years from now? I know that many still see this field as "quackery," and that does not bother me because I know that aging is a legitimate science. However, are there enough clinical interventions currently available (or available in 5+ years) to build an entire career? How realistic is this?

Thank you for your input.

#2 kismet

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 04:24 PM

I know there are many things that have been proven to extend lifespan in mice and other animals.


If we exclude germline interventions (gene knockouts & transgenes) and only look at long lived mice, then, there are only very, very few such interventions. So it will take some time for drugs to materialise.

So I would like opinions. Is it feasible to exclusively practice anti-aging medicine 5+ years from now? I know that many still see this field as "quackery," and that does not bother me because I know that aging is a legitimate science. However, are there enough clinical interventions currently available (or available in 5+ years) to build an entire career? How realistic is this?

Not at all and I don't think ever. IMHO the practise of "anti aging medicine" will always include some form of primary care (and even right now legitimate life extension counselling would be doable, but I am not sure you'd find any interested patients). The real advances happen in the lab.

#3 niner

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 04:50 PM

I have a different take on this than kismet. An "anti-aging" physician could schedule blood tests of the kind that most doctors don't even think about, heart scans, SNP testing, and other advanced diagnostics. You could prescribe treatment using either pharmaceuticals or supplements on the basis of those tests. You could provide nutritional counseling based on something far more correct than the "food pyramid" sort of thing that most doctors are aware of. Whether or not you could make a career out of this sort of practice, or if the competitive environment was such that you had to also do some peering into snotty noses is kind of up in the air. It would depend where you were, for one thing, and on future unknowables on the other. Personally, I would love to find a doctor like I just described, in order to augment my current doctor who is great at fixing me when I break but terrible at keeping me healthy.

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#4 ensun

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 08:02 PM

I agree, niner. I'd like a doctor like that for myself. That's why it is appealing to me. Apparently they do exist. For instance, http://www.cnn.com/2....med/index.html . I'm not sure if it's easy to build a practice exclusively based on "age management," however.

I suppose I can base a practice on aging, regenerative and preventative medicine and always fall back on geriatrics until there is enough demand for the first three.

#5 lunarsolarpower

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 08:03 PM

Here's the biggest source for information: A4M

What about Ray Kurzweil's co-author Terry Grossman? I'm pretty sure he practices a form of anti-aging medicine. Much of what is considered anti-aging medicine right now is cosmetic but there certainly is a place for that side of things as well.

#6 lunarsolarpower

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 08:16 PM

Thanks for the link ensun. I was not aware of this episode:

Some observers say the whole field is an expensive hoax. "There is no such thing as anti-aging medicine," huffs Jay Olshansky, a sociologist at the University of Illinois who studies medicine and longevity. "As long as humans have existed, we have always desired to live longer. Every society, every religion, every culture. Of course, they all failed at dramatic life extension." Olshansky was slapped with a $120 million dollar defamation lawsuit by A4M after he accused the organization of promoting quackery. He countersued and both sides eventually agreed to drop their cases.



#7 niner

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 06:40 AM

Thanks for the link ensun. I was not aware of this episode:

Some observers say the whole field is an expensive hoax. "There is no such thing as anti-aging medicine," huffs Jay Olshansky, a sociologist at the University of Illinois who studies medicine and longevity. "As long as humans have existed, we have always desired to live longer. Every society, every religion, every culture. Of course, they all failed at dramatic life extension." Olshansky was slapped with a $120 million dollar defamation lawsuit by A4M after he accused the organization of promoting quackery. He countersued and both sides eventually agreed to drop their cases.

Jesus, what a PITA!

#8 lunarsolarpower

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:03 AM

Thanks for the link ensun. I was not aware of this episode:

Some observers say the whole field is an expensive hoax. "There is no such thing as anti-aging medicine," huffs Jay Olshansky, a sociologist at the University of Illinois who studies medicine and longevity. "As long as humans have existed, we have always desired to live longer. Every society, every religion, every culture. Of course, they all failed at dramatic life extension." Olshansky was slapped with a $120 million dollar defamation lawsuit by A4M after he accused the organization of promoting quackery. He countersued and both sides eventually agreed to drop their cases.

Jesus, what a PITA!

You know what they say: the lawyers are the only ones who win.

#9 Michael

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 03:53 PM

I have a different take on this than kismet. An "anti-aging" physician could schedule blood tests of the kind that most doctors don't even think about, heart scans, SNP testing, and other advanced diagnostics. You could prescribe treatment using either pharmaceuticals or supplements on the basis of those tests. You could provide nutritional counseling based on something far more correct than the "food pyramid" sort of thing that most doctors are aware of.

Yes, you could do all of that. That would be good (hopefully!) lifestyle preventive medicine, to avoid suffering prematurely with age-related diseases; unless you're going to help people practice CR, however, it will do zilch about aging.

And, of course, in practice, today's "anti-aging" medical practice as typified by A4M -- to the extent that it differs from just competent, perfectly conventional primary care -- involves ordering blood tests, heart scans, SNP testing, and other advanced diagnostics, and the prescriiption of pharmaceuticals or supplements, that have no good evidence base and are as likely to harm as help in many cases, and that are much more likely to be a profitable waste of a patient's money than responsible medical care, let alone "anti-aging medicine."

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#10 AgeVivo

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 05:05 PM

$120 million dollar defamation lawsuit by A4M after he accused the organization of promoting quackery

It is true that for now, not much exists; it is not well known because as soon as someone says it too loud you've got all the quackers sueing him.

The best currently and in the next 5 years would be to some advisor&secretary that is able to take care of all the paper works and organize all required medical consultations while convincing his clients to do sports, see family and friends, consult for any small health trouble, and do projects he likes.

Perhaps that's what is happening in those new villages for retired persons?

Edited by AgeVivo, 05 September 2010 - 05:07 PM.





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