Cesari M, Vellas B, Gambassi G

Exp Gerontol 2013;48:451-6

Publication date: April 1, 2013


While biological and evolutionary ageing theories have been analysed for centuries, our current knowledge of how we age remains incomplete. In this article, the authors discuss the complexity of the ageing process, and identify critical issues to consider when applying research to clinical practice. The authors focus on a more holistic analysis of ageing, and propose the adoption of specific modifications in the design and conduction of clinical research in ageing to more adequately assess the clinical applicability of interventions in daily practice. The authors aim to propose novel, practical ways to appreciate the relevant aspects of ageing, and attempt to consolidate current knowledge towards the ultimate goal of improving and extending life.

In this review article, the authors comprehensively discuss several aspects of ageing, including (1) the biological mechanisms of ageing; (2) the dynamic characteristics of the ageing process and its mechanisms; (3) frailty and its potential role in accelerated ageing; and (4) potential interventions designed to delay age-related decline and frailty. The authors propose that ageing results from a heterogeneous group of senescent losses due to physical stresses as we age. When armed with this knowledge, researchers and clinicians can better appreciate how we age.