Gerontology researchers urge scrutiny of anti-aging treatments

07/01/04

Consumers must be afforded better protection against interventions falsely claiming to reverse or retard the aging process, according to an article published by legal and medical professionals in the June issue of The Gerontologist (Vol. 44, No. 3).

The team of researchers, based at Case Western Reserve University, urge professional organizations to undertake a sustained program of specific educational efforts to designed to sort out the "helpful, the harmful, the fraudulent, and the harmless antiaging practices and products."

They suggest that many anti-aging treatments can seriously harm older persons and aging baby boomers, and may divert them from more medically-proven therapies. Currently, there are many barriers to effective governmental regulation of anti-aging interventions, state authors Maxwell J. Mehlman, JD, Robert H. Binstock, PhD, Eric T. Juengst, PhD, Roselle S. Ponsaran, MA, and Peter J. Whitehouse, MD, PhD.

Support for the preparation of the article was provided by the National Institute on Aging and the National Human Genome Research Institute. The piece also continues The Gerontological Society of America's series of summer events designed to confront the hope and hype of anti-aging medicine. The subject is addressed in special sections of the June and July issues of The Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, as well as a recently released edition of the Public Policy and Aging Report, put out by GSA's policy branch, the National Academy on an Aging Society.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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