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The future of Clinical Biogerontology

Andrea Maier

  1. @AgeMelbourne, Department of Medicine and Aged Care, University of Melbourne,Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

  2. @AgeAmsterdam, Department of Human MovementSciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, The Netherlands

The aging process occurs gradually with a high degree of inter and intra-individual differences. As such, within an aging population there is significant variation in the prevalence and severity of age related diseases and functional impairment. This variability between individuals is thought to be reflected by their biological age. Currently, the clinical (geriatric) assessment is a multidimensional, interdisciplinary diagnostic process used to determine an individual’s medical, psychological and functional capability at older age. While the clinical assessment utilizes well-established markers of physical and functional parameters, it does not include any molecular measures that indicate underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Combining functional measures with molecular markers could improve the current clinical assessment by identifying individuals undergoing a rapid aging process. Cellular senescence is one of the prominent markers of ageing and it has been shown that the number of senescent cells is higher at advanced chronological and biological age. Although no biomarkers indicative of biological age are currently being utilized in the clinical setting, promising research advancements would suggest their application in intervention studies aiming to slow down the ageing process.