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.
Cassel CK. 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
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