Initial Challenges to Consider

  • What are the impacts of specific pro-inflammatory agents during the fetal, neonatal, childhood, pubertal, and reproductive periods of the life course on health during the last half of the life course?

  • How will more discussion be developed between researchers and policy makers on biomedical interventions to aging and the industrial-ecological issues of air and water pollution?

  • Will novel new agents evolve that are comparable to the late-life deleterious effects of microbial agents, such as type A beta-hemolytic streptococci or cigarette smoke?

  • What are the trade-offs with the long-term administration of many pharmacological interventions, including anti-inflammatory agents? For example, low-dose aspirin can lead to fatal gastrointestinal or cerebral hemorrhages in susceptible individuals.

  • Will physicians be able to take advantage of new genomic methodologies to predict who will or will not be at high risk for such side effects? More generically, can algorithms be developed to arrive at rational conclusions with regard to risk assessments for individuals and cost-benefit analyses for the case of populationwide interventions?

  • Pharmaceutical companies are at high risk for costly lawsuits involving unanticipated serious complications of new drugs and vaccines, the development of which requires investments of millions of dollars. These are among the factors that discourage the development of new agents for infectious agents that are rare in the United States but are common in undeveloped countries. What business models (e.g., partnerships between industry and government) would address this problem?

Initial References

Antonicelli, F., G. Bellon, L. Debelle, and W. Hornebeck. 2007. Elastin-elastases and inflamm-aging. Current Topics in Developmental Biology 79:99-155.

Cauley, J. A., M. E. Danielson, R. M. Boudreau, K. Y. Forrest, J. M. Zmuda, M. Pahor, F. A. Tylavsky, S. R. Cummings, T. B. Harris, and A. B. Newman. 2007. Inflammatory markers and incident fracture risk in older men and women: The health aging and body composition study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 22(7):1088-1095.

Crimmins, E. M., and C. E. Finch. 2006. Infection, inflammation, height, and longevity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 103:498-503.

Finch, C. E. 2005. Developmental origins of aging in brain and blood vessels: An overview. Neurobiology of Aging 26:281-291.

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