Anti-Aging Medicine Comes of Age


In 1993, with formation of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), a new medical specialty was established and a promise was made m improve longevity and quality of life. From 12 founding physicians, A4M membership has now grown to more than 6,500 members in 50 countries. In addition, we have certified 300 physicians worldwide, who are practicing anti-aging medicine around the globe. As the millennium approaches, there has been a profound paradigm shift in the way the medical establishment views age-related disease. We see a miraculous future for the new medical specialty of anti-aging medicine.

Until now we have used the established sciences to maximize function in aging individuals at both the cellular and organ level. In the near future new technologies will make a significant impact on anti-aging therapeutics and diagnostics.

The first innovation to reach anti-aging physicians will be the ability to done specific subgroups of stem cells, a technology that already is under investigation at major U.S. universities. This new technology will give us a dependable and safe way to selectively grow and restore organs damaged by the aging process. Ultimately, we will be able to defeat the effects of aging; eradicate Alzheimer's disease, liver disease and arthritis; halt hormonal decline and overcome challenges presented by a depressed or hyperactive immune system.

The second new technology destined to affect the aging process is gene therapy. Using DNA transfer techniques, we will be able to impact key intrinsic enzyme and antioxidant systems, thereby targeting therapy on one of the primary causes of aging--free radical damage. This technology will use gene replacement therapy to augment enzyme systems and to improve the body's intrinsic antioxidant potential, thus lessening the need to ingest antioxidants in food or supplements.

Both of these technologies are far from science fiction. Over the last few years they have been used successfully in animal models. Experimental programs are underway outside the U.S. using these technologies to cure degenerative diseases of aging. It is one of A4M's most important goals to document the viability of these new therapies as they pertain to optimizing aging and quality of health.

With these new technologies on the horizon, a new definition of maximum human life span must be entertained. At A4M's June 12-14, 1999, conference, "Anti-Aging Therapeutics for the Office-Based Physician," this and other key topics will be explored as essential elements of a healthcare delivery system for the new millennium. In addition, A4M has launched a bimonthly publication, Anti-Aging Industry News (AAIN), which features the latest in industry news and trends, regulatory updates, new products and technological breakthroughs not equal to plus provocative personality profiles, thoughtful debate on the issues and meaningful learning opportunities.

For more information on the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, A4M'S June 1999 conference or the Anti-Aging Industry News, call (773)528-8500 or visit the A4M Web site,

Many different medical disciplines have an impact on anti-aging care including nutrition, exercise physiology, molecular biology, mind/body medicine, sports medicine and genetic engineering. As information from these disciplines is coordinated, anti-aging medicine is making a significant and scientifically documented improvement in quality of life.

In response to this multi-disciplinary approach, the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Professionals (ABAAHP) has launched a certification program for non-physician health care providers. ABAAHP is a sister-organization to the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine (ABAAM), which is the certifying board for medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy.

To earn ABAAHP certification candidates must complete a series of two-day training seminars, attend an American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine conference and pass a written examination. "Anti-Aging Health Provider" certification is maintained by earning continuing education credits.

The 1999 ABAAHP seminars are being held in Newark, New Jersey, Studio City, California and Orlando, Florida. For more information contact the New York Academy of Aging; PO Box 149, Parsippany, NJ 07054; phone (973)3352590/(888)354-6528; fax (973)335-6187.

Researchers are preparing to take the next quantum leap in epidemiological research at the LEXCORE Datacenter, a project of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine A4M and the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine (ABAAM), in cooperation with various biomedical engineering groups. Using biomarkers of aging along with today's most advanced information technology, LEXCORE allows physicians and researchers to perform automated tests that determine a patient's biological v. chronological age. Collected data will be compiled and processed into usable reports and made available on the Internet for anti-aging medical research.

Anti-Aging Industry News, March/April 1999

The $3 billion health care device industry is mobilizing m assist aging baby boomers and the elderly relatives for whom they are caretakers. Many companies are capitalizing on age demographics and the shift to home care by providing devices that improve quality of life for people who face functional challenges. Such devices range from home-based chemotherapy to finger loops that help turn keys. The health care device industry is expected to continue to grow at a rate of about seven percent annually.

Health Care Business Digest, January 1999

Mortality from coronary heart disease decreased significantly from 1987 to 1994, despite a slight increase in CHD incidence during the same period. The drop in mortality appears to be due to improvements in managing heart attacks and in secondary prevention.

Family Practice News, November 1, 1998

In a study conducted by the Health Enhancement Research Organization, workers who were highly stressed or depressed had health care costs that were 2.5 times higher than workers without these problems. Workers with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking, obesity or high blood pressure, had triple the health expenses of workers without such conditions.

First Assist's Client Connections, Nov/Dec 1998

The classic symptoms of an enlarged prostate (difficult and frequent urination) are less common in men who are physically active. Men who walked two to three hours a week had a 25 percent lower risk. of benign prostatic hyperplasia than more sedentary men.

Archives of Internal Medicine, November 23, 1998

A meta-analysis of 16 studies found that while aspirin very slightly increased the risk of hemmorrhagic strokes, it helped significantly to prevent heart attacks and ischemic stroke.

Journal of the American Medical Association, December 9, 1998

An eight-year study of middle-aged women indicates that extra body fat concentrated around the waist and abdomen is an added risk for coronary heart disease. Apple-shaped women are more than twice as likely to develop CHD as pear-shaped women (women whose body weight accumulates around hips, thighs and buttocks). Women with a waist circumference of greater than 30 inches had the highest risk for CHD.

Journal of the American Medical Association, December 2, 1998

According to a collaborative report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Arthritis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology, the number of Americans with arthritis and related conditions is expected to rise to almost 20 percent of the population or 60 million people by the year 2020, up from 40 million people today.

The Female Patient, July 1998

A series of recent experiments has shown that the human brain retains the potential for self-renewal throughout life. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles hope to use these findings to help treat Parkinson's disease via a brain cell harvesting, regeneration and re-injection procedure.

Reuters via NewsEdge, November 2, 1998

A Yale University study shows that cortisol may be a key hormone in determining how much people eat during times of high stress. During times of chronic stress a combination of high cortisol and high insulin levels tell the body to store fat in anticipation of difficult times ahead.

Healthy Weight Journal, September/October 1998

Canadian scientists reported in the journal Lancet that low-dose aspirin is safer and more effective than high doses in preventing peri-operative stroke and death after carotid endarterectomy. Findings from the four-year Aspirin Carotid Endarterectomy (ACE) study surprised researchers who expected higher doses to be more effective.

Family Practice News, November 15, 1998

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have correlated exercise in a dose-dependent manner with declining stroke risk. One hour a day of moderately intense activities such as walking briskly, climbing stairs, dancing, bicycling or gardening reduces the risk of stroke by nearly half. Workouts of 30 minutes per day reduce risk by 24 percent.

Stroke, 1998

Donating blood may decrease the risk of heart attack. The reason is unclear, although scientists speculate that donating blood removes excess iron than some experts feel increases heart attack risk.

American Journal of Epidemiology, 1998

Research conducted at New York City's Beth Israel Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine suggests that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may slow the progression of Parkinson's disease in post-menopausal women who are not taking levodopa. HRT is also known to lower the risk of dementia in post-menopausal women. Patients with Parkinson's disease have a high incidence of dementia.

Modern Medicine, June 1998

A study conducted at the Case Western Reserve neurogeriatric laboratory suggests that lifelong regular exercise may protect patients against Alzheimer's disease by enhancing the metabolic activity of nerve cells in certain regions of the brain.

Modern Medicine, June 1998

A gene therapy involving insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) permanently blocks the age-related loss of muscle size and strength in mice. Like humans and all mammals mice lose up to a third of their muscle mass and power with age. In humans the result of muscle loss is advancing weakness that can lead to unsteadiness and impaired mobility, increased susceptibility to falls and joint stress and degeneration. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center are investigating if this technique might be used to increase muscle strength in diseases such as muscular dystrophy.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
December 22, 1998

Purdue University researchers may have discovered at least part of the reason why green tea is associated with lowered cancer risk. EGCg, a potent antioxidant found in green tea, inhibits an enzyme that cancer cells need to divide and reproduce. Black tea also contains EGCg, though in far smaller concentrations.

Science News, January 2, 1999

Resveratol, a chemical in grapes and wine that is produced by vines to fight infection, boosts the activity of an enzyme that stimulates and regenerates brain cells. In laboratory tests resveratol stimulated human neural cells to grow small extensions through which they could communicate with neighboring cells. This discovery is important because contacts between neural cells are broken in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

The Independent via NewsEdge, January 7, 1999

A team led by a St. Louis neurosurgeon has performed the first surgery on a human using superconducting magnets to direct a surgical instrument into the brain. The technique enables surgeons to reach and perform a biopsy on a tumor or to place medication on precisely the right spot without disturbing sensitive areas nearby. The magnetic surgery is less invasive and raises the potential of developing medical treatments for Parkinson's disease and other motor disorders centered in the brain.

The Brain in the News, January 15, 1999


By Ronald M. Klatz, M.D., D.O., President, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine

Adapted by M.D., D.O.

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