Despite strenuous controversies, the field of sirtuin research is growing with an increasing number of recent studies revealing their promising connection to longevity. After many years of investigation, understanding of the activity of the silent information regulator 2 (Sir2) family (‘sirtuins’) has greatly expanded, proving its significant involvement in the regulation of many fundamental biological processes. Dr. Leonard Guarente, co-founder of Elysium Health and director of MIT’s Glenn Center for Biology of Aging, stands at the forefront of sirtuin research efforts.
According to data from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), an estimated 6% of people worldwide suffer from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in their 60s, and 37% are affected by age 85. Although patients with mild cognitive impairment have an increased risk of developing dementia, the condition does not always worsen and growing research aims to determine the underlying mechanisms linking the two. The progression from MCI, a slight but noticeable change in cognitive function, to dementia is not automatic; about 15% of MCI cases develop into dementia.
Anti-aging research is primed to impact the global structure of healthcare, with the Harvard Gazette reporting a series of opportunities focused on extending the human lifespan. The Boston-based Academy for Health and Lifespan Research launched in February, with a dual focus on promoting future work in anti-aging medicine and ensuring the factuality of information being disseminated. Reflecting on the immeasurable progress made in the field of aging, founding member and Harvard Medical School Genetics Professor David Sinclair believes that “we can develop medicines that will treat aging at its source and thereby have a much greater impact on health and lifespan than drugs that target a single disease.”