Fighting aging is by far the most effective way to combat the diseases of old age. The forefront of aging research now predominantly sees the underlying aging process, i.e. the accumulation of damage, as the root of the problem. Diseases of old age such as Alzheimer’s, heart attacks and strokes are merely the late stages of aging, which is why it makes little sense from a biological point of view to consider certain parts of aging such as Alzheimer’s and „aging itself“ separately. We call some aspects of aging a disease, others not. An example of the latter is frailty, which is not classified as a disease but as a syndrome. However, all these individual parts of aging (or diseases) have one thing in common: as things stand, each of us is guaranteed to get them if we do not die of another part first.
As already explained, aging is nothing more than the accumulation of damage, which ultimately manifests itself in the diseases mentioned. But if – as geriatrics is trying to do today – we fight the diseases of aging only in the late stage of life when they have already appeared, the battle is lost from the start. Just as it doesn’t do much good to replace the brakes on a rusting car, a blood-thinning drug prevents the formation of blood clots but doesn’t address the cause: the deposits in the arteries. Therefore, these deposits continue to accumulate until they eventually lead to a blood clot or other problems. The damage-repair approach starts with the damage that leads to age-related diseases and death in the first place, and aims to keep it below the level at which it becomes dangerous by regular repair.
To advocate the treatment of cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes, but at the same time to reject the fight against aging, is thus to be in favour of medicine, but only as long as it does not work well.