By Krystle Kalafut, Morgan Janes, and Francesca Riccio-Ackerman
The number of adults aged 65 and older in the United States and globally is expected to nearly double in size by 2050. It will be necessary to devise strategies spanning the science, healthcare, and regulatory sectors to support the growing number of older adults and adapt to the changes of population aging. Given the greater disease risk in older individuals, this population shift also presents new opportunities for research and development of both preventive and therapeutic interventions that target a wide range of chronic conditions. Many previous articles have focused on the advantages and drawbacks of classifying aging as a disease, which we briefly summarize. Then, we focus on the discussion of actionable steps to adapt the healthcare system and clinical regulatory frameworks to support research in geroscience, develop novel therapeutics that delay the biological aging process, and promote the translation of these therapies to patients.