Aging and the U.S. Population: A Q & A with Dr. Dana Goldman

In our latest Healthspan Expert Q & A, we talk with Dana Goldman, Ph.D., professor and Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair and Director of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics, about aging demographics in the U.S. Please note Dr. Goldman’s opinions are his own.

5/4/15 Los Angeles, CA USC Schaeffer Photo by: Steve Cohn www.stevecohnphotography.com (310) 277-2054 © 2015

Q: Please give us a background into your interest into the aging of the U.S. population?

DG: Ironically, I first became interested in aging when I was studying obesity in younger populations. We all know obesity is a public health problem, and we were studying the value of interventions to reduce weight at earlier ages. However, it soon became clear that such interventions are not well-targeted and hence can be very expensive. We started to look at prevention at older ages, and what we found was that interventions at older ages Continue reading

An Aging Global Population and Healthspan’s Potential, Part 2

This is Part 2 of our interview with Victor Basiuk, Ph.D., a well-published expert on the impact of science and technology on international relations and national security policy, on an aging global population and the potential of healthspan. Please note Dr. Basiuk’s opinions are his own. Please go here to see Part 1.

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An Aging Global Population and Healthspan’s Potential, Part 1

Victor Basiuk, Ph.D.

Victor Basiuk, Ph.D.

Victor Basiuk, Ph.D., is a well-published expert on the impact of science and technology on international relations and national security policy. He recently co-published an article with Huber Warner, Ph.D., in the journal Economic Annals-XXI titled “Will a Breakthrough in Science Modify World History?” This article delves into the challenges faced by countries as their populations age and the vast potential benefits of the extension of healthspan. We had the privilege of doing a two-part Q & A with Dr. Basiuk in which we talked about some of the topics brought forth in the article. In Part 1, we discuss the article and the effects of an aging population on the United States. Please note Dr. Basiuk’s opinions are purely his own.

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Dr. Nir Barzilai on the TAME Study

Healthspan Campaign partner the Albert Einstein College of Medicine was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal about a groundbreaking new study called Targeting/Taming Aging With Metformin, or TAME. We had the chance to speak with Nir Barzilai, M.D., director, Institute for Aging Research, Einstein College of Medicine, and, scientific co-director, the American Federation for Aging Research, to learn more about it.

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Author Bill Gifford Talks about His New Book, Spring Chicken

bill giffordIt’s our pleasure to present this Q & A with Bill Gifford, the author of the brand-new book Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (or Die Trying).  His book is described as “a full-throttle, high-energy ride through the latest research, popular mythology, and ancient wisdom on mankind’s oldest obsession: How can we live longer? And better?” He has been busy talking about his book with NPR, Dr. Oz, and other outlets. But we were lucky enough to get a few minutes of his time. Enjoy the Q & A!


Q:
What prompted you to write a book on aging research?

BG: Like everyone else who reaches middle age, I hit my 40s and started to feel like I was changing in certain ways. I had less energy and more squishy bits than I did when I was 30, and a visit to the doctor confirmed that I’d put on a bunch of weight and that my LDL cholesterol was sky high. So I started thinking about aging, and wondering what science really knows about this process that affects everything that has ever lived. It seemed sort of unfair that nature would craft us into the extraordinary beings that we are, only to let it all fall apart in the space of a few decades.

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The Buck Institute’s Brian Kennedy on the Past, Present, and Future of Aging Research

When the Buck Institute for Research on Aging opened in 1999 in Novato, Calif.,
“biogerontology” was a little-known subset of of gerontology. It looked completely different than it does today.

BuckBlockNewBack then, aging research was still considered “fringe” by many in the scientific world. And experts focused more on their own theories than on collaborating with their peers.

“At the time the Buck started, there was nothing like it,” says Brian Kennedy, Ph.D., its president & CEO. “It was a difficult battle trying to get aging research noticed.”

But then aging researchers at the Buck and elsewhere began to solve the mysteries of why our bodies age.

“It used to be that aging was considered a fixed process. But then in the mid-90s we started finding genetic mutations that extended lifespan,” says Kennedy. “That was an important step. It was possible to modify aging.”

Over the next 20 years, more discoveries were made, spurred in large part by the sequencing of the human genome in 2003.

Fast forward to 2015. Biogerontology has morphed into geroscience – a discipline that has moved into the mainstream of science and is even mentioned on Capitol Hill. Researchers working in the trenches have begun to figure out why our bodies get older. And they are really focused on aging as the common cause of a panoply of chronic conditions, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease, among others.

Dr. Brian Kennedy

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Welcome to New Partner, ISOAD

logoThe Healthspan Campaign welcomes its newest partner, the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD).

ISOAD is a “non-profit organization comprised of people from many countries and various professional disciplines doing training and research in the fields of aging and aged-related disease.”

Among its most recent activities includes its first International Conference on Aging and Disease (ICAD) held in Beijing, China, that showcased some of the latest advances in aging and longevity research.

We invite you to learn more about their work and what they do.