Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ageing-Disease Conundrum

In line of recent blog post of whether ageing is a disease or not? A news report published in "New Scientist" brings out an important angle or reason is to why there is a need of including ageing as disease in upcoming International List of Causes of Death  (ICD)-11 classification. Homeostasis is one of the most favourite phenomena of nature.  Hence, every idea has its own merits and demerits. 

Upon asking an important question on a scientific forum wether ageing is a disease or not. I was given following reply by a distinguished Professor:

  1. yes ("disorder of structure or function in an animal or plant of such a degree as to produce or threaten to produce detectable illness or disorder").
  2. no ("the quality which identifies disease is some deviation from a biological norm").

Is ageing a disease? - ResearchGate. Available from: [accessed Nov 28, 2015].

I can see some clear confusion here. When we see definition "2" as mentioned above; ageing leads to Cardio vascular abnormalities, Central Nervous System (CNS) abnormalities, anatomical abnormalities, fatigue, prostate problems in males and many other problems. Hence, the question Is it not deviation from biological norm?

Moreover, one of the most important question "How much can human life span be extended"? is one of the top 25 questions to be answered, published by Science magazine.

Not including ageing as a disease has created many restriction towards availability of collaborative efforts, funding and other resources for carrying out cutting edge research to solve the problems pertaining to ageing. The question of including ageing as disease has been more of an ethical instead of scientific conundrums as pointed by Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov in his recent press release here.  


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