Molecular Diagnostics of Ageing and Tackling Age-related Disease

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Abstract

As average life expectancy increases there is a greater focus on health-span and, in particular, how to treat or prevent chronic age-associated diseases. Therapies which were able to control ‘biological age’ with the aim of postponing chronic and costly diseases of old age require an entirely new approach to drug development. Molecular technologies and machine-learning methods have already yielded diagnostics that help guide cancer treatment and cardiovascular procedures. Discovery of valid and clinically informative diagnostics of human biological age (combined with disease-specific biomarkers) has the potential to alter current drug-discovery strategies, aid clinical trial recruitment and maximize healthy ageing. I will review some basic principles that govern the development of ‘ageing’ diagnostics, how such assays could be used during the drug-discovery or development process. Important logistical and statistical considerations are illustrated by reviewing recent biomarker activity in the field of Alzheimer's disease, as dementia represents the most pressing of priorities for the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the chronic disease in humans most associated with age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume38
Issue number1
Early online date12 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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