Publication in Experimental Gerontology outlines risk factors and early indicators for AACD to help support the early identification of age-related conditions in the clinical setting.
Bridgewater, N.J., February 10, 2021 – Nestlé Health Science, a globally recognized leader in the field of nutritional science, highlighted a new paper in Experimental Gerontology containing a consensus statement on “early detection of accelerated aging and cellular decline” (AACD), or age-associated cellular decline.
“Through expert consensus, we aimed to classify risk factors, early indicators, and clinical differentiators of AACD to promote the identificaction of its signs, symptoms, and indicative markers,” said Professor Matteo Cesari. “We believe that this expert consensus may pave the way for future implementation of the AACD concept in the clinical setting, helping to ensure these persons are not overlooked.”
Aging of multicellular organisms is a highly complex biological process associated with a decline in overall health and physical functioning. At the cellular level, cells deteriorate as they lose their ability to function optimally, potentially leading to organ-specific dysfunction, which may ultimately become responsible for the development of symptoms and age-related diseases. The ability to detect early signs of accelerated aging, potentially contributing to future adverse health-related events, could help support proper intervention and promote healthy aging in the clinical setting. Characterizing the clinical signs of AACD could help identify those at risk for accelerated aging, irrespective of their chronological age or overt health profiles.
Expert Consensus Development
An interdisciplinary panel of five research scientists and geriatricians with clinical and research expertise participated in a virtual workshop to discuss aspects of AACD. An extended group of 13 international geriatric experts from 11 different countries then reviewed and critically commented on the manuscript, and their feedback was then incorporated into the model.
Risk Factors and Detection
Thirteen factors predisposing to or clinically manifesting in AACD were identified, including chronic diseases, obesity, and unfavorable genetic background. Clinical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and renal disease were noted as risk factors, with chronic inflammatory conditions particularly associated with AACD. Several environmental, clinical, and demographic characteristics were considered important, but smoking was viewed as the most prominent risk factor.
Additionally, a total of 16 factors heterogeneously contributing to AACD were mentioned of particular interest to connect biological mechanisms with the clinical phenotype, and these factors were organized as clinical features, biological domains, and specific physiopathological pathways. Clinical indicators of special relevance include fatigue, poor exercise tolerance, memory complaints, low mood/motivation, and poor-quality sleep.
While additional research and validation are needed, the AACD construct may support the early identification of age-related conditions and encourage preventative interventions. Further work is required in order to establish the specific biomarkers to help provide a more definitive determination of the risk factors for AACD and age-associated cellular decline; however, this framework offers a promising lens through which we can further understand aging.
For more information on AACD, please visit www.MyAACD.org.
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