For some, extending a population’s life expectancy is a huge opportunity, giving more freedom to people seeking new horizons without time constraints. However, the increased longevity of people, It would profoundly change the structure of society as we know it today.
Usually the family life cycle consists of three levels: children, parents and grandparents, if life expectancy extends to 120 years, I was thinking of great ancestors even great ancestors‘, he’s referring to Paulina Falcon, a researcher at the Millennium Institute of Biomedical Neuroscience, BNI, at the University of Chile Medical School.
According to figures provided by the Ministry of Health, it is estimated that l In 2050 in Chile, individuals over the age of 60 will increase from 15.7% to 32.9%. At the same time, people over 80 years old will reach about 10.3%. These numbers mean a A profound change in our demographic structure, which represents a challenge to the adaptation of society.
Falcon, who is also a researcher in Science and Life FoundationAnd the He shows that the field of gerontology, for a long time, emerged exclusively from geriatrics, a branch of medicine. In the past sixty years, the field of Biology, that is, the study of the biology of aging.
But none of these areas dominates the cultural construct that modern society has shaped around aging and old age. Therefore, it is necessary to ask ourselves from the scientific community Why do we study aging?And the He points out that the fruits of science will play a critical role in designing how to sculpt the society of tomorrow.
The neurodegeneration specialist adds that “population aging and its impact on the demographic level have generated a need and interest in advancing the understanding of this phenomenon, not only because of its knowledge In itself, but to be able Contribution from science in the search for cures and/or cures for associated diseases, whose incidence increases with age.
The aging process On a biological level, it is complex to manipulate it, mainly because it presents behavior that is governed by chance. on the principle Aging is the random degradation of organic molecules that occurs as a function of time. There are no genetic determinants that can explain aging itself. This represents the central problem of research in this area, as until now it has not been possible to fully understand the mechanisms that drive the aging process at the cellular level.”
Given this limitation, in the field of cell biology, researchers have attempted to understand this stage of life since studying Associated Diseases agingAnd the Such as neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Since the birth of the United States in 1974 AD National Institute on Aging (NIA) Financial support for Alzheimer’s disease research has increased dramatically, translating into the practice that at every meeting or conference on aging held in recent decades, The Alzheimer’s disease session is offered on an almost mandatory basis.
“It has been a pathological approach that has been introduced to aging research that there are diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Overshadowed by the importance of research on other diseases in the field of biological gerontology, such as cardiovascular problems and cancer,” Falcon highlights.
The Industrial Revolution, as a social process, affected not only the economy, but the The way a person sees himself.
“The body came to be seen as a machine, centered on human control as part of an economic system that gave way to the modern age along with the development of new technologies. In this modern society centered on production, where individuality is enshrined, Attention has not been directed to the consideration of aging and its complexity‘, explains the physician in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience University of Chile.
Today in an aging world, diseases associated with aging represent a major public health challenge. With this in mind, he notes, the question arises: What are we doing research for? aging? Do we want to be eternal? “Without a doubt, we have a moral duty to die,” he says.
Necessarily Field research aging It will improve the health of the upper age groups, The consequent lengthening of life expectancy. He adds that this will have serious implications for society, as some forecasts are optimistic, while others are not.
“For this reason, it is necessary to be able, from science, to contribute to the knowledge of aging as a fundamental process, to study its aetiology and nature from a health context rather than from a well-paid sick condition, and Thus the ability to take a step forward in the knowledge of aging without viewing it as a diseaseFalcon concludes.
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