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Antiaging Treatments Have Been Legally Prescribed for Approximately Thirty Years

Authors

  • SVETLANA V. UKRAINTSEVA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, 18057 Rostock, Germany
    2. Duke University, Center for Demographic Studies, Durham, North Carolina, USA
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  • KONSTANTIN G. ARBEEV,

    1. Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, 18057 Rostock, Germany
    2. Duke University, Center for Demographic Studies, Durham, North Carolina, USA
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  • ANATOLY I. MICHALSKY,

    1. Institute of Management Problems, Moscow, Russia
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  • ANATOLY I. YASHIN

    1. Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, 18057 Rostock, Germany
    2. Duke University, Center for Demographic Studies, Durham, North Carolina, USA
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Address for correspondence: Svetlana V. Ukraintseva, Ph.D., Duke University Center for Demographic Studies, 2117 Campus Drive, Box 90408, Durham, NC 27708-0408. Voice: 919-682-9759, ext. 224. ukraintseva@cds.duke.edu

Abstract

Abstract: There is an interesting divergence between the achievements of geriatrics and gerontology. On the one hand, during the last 30 years physicians in many developed countries have successfully prescribed several medicines to cure various symptoms of senescence. On the other hand, the influence of such medicines on human life span practically has not been studied. The most common of the relevant medicines are nootropic piracetam, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), selegiline, Ginkgo biloba, pentoxifylline, cerebrolysin, solcoseryl, ergoloid, vinpocetin, sertraline, and estrogens, among others. Available data from human clinical practices and experimental animal studies indicate that treatments with these drugs improve learning, memory, brain metabolism, and capacity. Some of these drugs increase tolerance to various stresses such as oxygen deficit and exercise, stimulate the regeneration of neurons in the old brain, and speed up the performance of mental and physical tasks. This means that modern medicine already has “antiaging” treatments at its disposal. However, the influence of such treatments on the mean and maximal life span of humans, and on the age trajectory of a human survival curve has been poorly studied. The increase in human life expectancy at birth in the second half of the last century was mostly caused by the better survival at the old and oldest old rather than at the young ages. In parallel, the consumption of brain protective and regenerative drugs has been expanding in the elderly population. We provide evidence in support of the idea that the consumption of medicines exerting antiaging properties may contribute to the increase in human longevity.

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