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November 13, 2002

Use It or Lose ItActivity May Be the Best Treatment for Aging

JAMA. 2002;288(18):2333-2335. doi:10.1001/jama.288.18.2333

The science of aging has advanced dramatically. As recently as 20 years ago, theories of the cellular and genetic factors controlling the aging process were just beginning to emerge and were largely theoretical.1 In the last 2 decades, advances in genetics and molecular biology have led to extraordinary new understandings in how cells age, how apoptosis programs cells to die, and how neuroendocrinology plays a role in the lifespan of organisms.2 The dual challenges for the 21st century are to link progress in basic science and clinical research to effective clinical care, and to create a health care system with properly trained physicians to provide evidence-based care for the growing numbers of older people. This issue of THE JOURNAL includes important research studies that help to advance the clinical science of aging, addressing areas as diverse as cognitive function, hip fracture, incontinence, and olfaction.

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