The Public Chamber talked about the prevention of aging
Experts: prevention of aging can protect against Alzheimer's disease
Increasing life expectancy should be one of the main political tasks not only in Russia, but also in the world. State support is needed in the development of social factors and biotechnologies that will combat aging and help prevent the appearance of most age-related diseases, according to the participants of the round table "Prevention of Aging", held on April 30, 2014 in the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.
The average life expectancy in the European Union is now about 80 years, the data for Russia is almost 10 years less, but the limit of human life, according to scientists, is 115-120 years, said Sergey Markov, a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.
"This average period is reduced due to several basic parameters – poor ecology, poor nutrition, poor sleep, substance abuse, stress, accidents, medicine – insufficient diagnosis, insufficient treatment. Today, there are various technologies for extending the life of mammals by 40%. They are expensive, untested, but they exist," he said, referring to the data announced during the International Humanitarian Forum in Baku.
The expert noted that reaching an average life expectancy of 80 years is a necessary and primary task for Russia. "The average life expectancy in Europe is growing at a rate of about half a year (increase) per year. We have about the same, even slightly higher. But the pace is insufficient. I believe that we should aim to increase the average life expectancy by one year per year. We can quite reach these rates," Markov said.
He noted that the increase in life expectancy is feasible through the development of biotechnologies and social technologies.
"Taking into account modern developments, those who live now are obliged to live up to a hundred years. We should set such a task, it should be a political task. Both the social block and the biotechnological one should be given equal attention, it is necessary to seek a government decision in this regard," Markov believes.
More pensioners and intellectual elite
Elena Milova, coordinator of the direction on the prevention of aging and increasing life expectancy of the public organization "Council on Public Health and Demographic Problems", stated that the difference of 10 years between the average life expectancy in Russia and Western countries affects, in particular, the intellectual potential of the country.
"When we say that our life expectancy is lower than in Western countries, we must understand that our people are not able to accumulate as much knowledge as abroad during their lifetime. How much can specialists from other countries, for example, who work for up to 90 years, do! The intellectual potential of a nation determines, among other things, its economic well–being," she said.
The head of the scientific group of the Institute of Biology of Aging Igor Artyukhov tried to debunk the myth that life extension will cause the appearance of a huge number of disabled people, which will negatively affect economic indicators.
"A number of studies show that life extension is achieved not by stretching the period of senile disability, but by shifting it. That is, its duration remains approximately the same, and it is the period of activity, including labor, that stretches. The period of extinction remains the same, sometimes even shrinks. The share of the able–bodied population will increase as a result," he said.
Speaking about changes in the pension systems of countries associated with an increase in life expectancy, which will be necessary if life expectancy exceeds one hundred years and reaches 150 years, he expressed the opinion that in this case retirement will have to be determined individually by actual working capacity.
Artyukhov noted that, despite Russia's success in increasing life expectancy, now the indicators are at the level of 1965. In his opinion, increasing life expectancy should become a national idea in Russia and one of the main tasks of the international community.
Fight the cause, not the consequences
Artyukhov noted that the position of healthcare, when people treat cancer and other diseases, but do not prevent aging, is doomed to failure. Every day 150 thousand people die worldwide as a result of factors caused by aging.
Daria Khalturina, Chairman of the Board of the Council on Public Health and Demographic Problems, recalled that over the past 200 years, not only the average life expectancy has increased from 30 to 70-80 years, but also the structure of morbidity has changed – now non-communicable, including age-dependent diseases prevail: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease.
"It is quite obvious that aging is the cause and the main factor of all the most serious diseases. If we find ways to prevent and compensate for these processes that occur at the cellular level, we will be able to prevent the development of these diseases," she said.
Artyukhov noted that if humanity managed to completely get rid, in particular, of oncological diseases, then the average life expectancy would increase by about three years.
According to scientists, the main causes of the aging process are the accumulation of toxic extracellular protein debris, atrophy and loss of cells and tissues, the appearance of cells with altered properties – old immune cells and senescent cells (accumulate with age and contribute to age-related diseases, reduce the ability to regenerate and renew), impaired energy metabolism in the cell, calcification of tissues and carcinogenesis is the process of the origin and development of tumors.
Khalturina stated that in order to achieve control over aging, it is necessary, in particular, state funding and control, research and development, certification of medicines and therapies, a favorable legislative climate for the mass introduction of new drugs and therapies, including the medical education system, the introduction of drugs and therapies into the health care system, the promotion of aging prevention.
Assistance to scientists and the role of the state
The participants of the round table noted that society is ruled by the myth that aging is uncontrollable and irreversible. And in such a society, scientists, doctors and pharmaceutical manufacturers meet with skepticism and do not receive sufficient financial, legislative and public support.
Speaking about the problems of Russia, Khalturina said that the regulatory framework for the creation of new drugs and therapies is not ready for new trends.
"It is impossible to register geroprotective drugs with us now. Legally, it is now possible to register only drugs that fight diseases, and not those that prevent the disease. The list of promising technologies for the control of aging includes geroprotective perparates, regulation of metabolism, gene therapy, cell therapy, nanomedicine, tissue and organ cultivation. All this requires updating the regulatory legislation," she said.
According to her, without favorable legislation, private investors will not come to the field of aging prevention, since it is almost impossible to register and sell such drugs so far. In addition, existing laws hinder the work of scientists.
"I would like to propose to create a working group of the Public Chamber and try to help our Russian scientists and representatives of innovative business to cope with legislative problems. For example, we have a ban on the import and export of biomaterials. This is a huge drag on Russian science," she said.
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