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Anti-aging roundtable considers innovative options

Article-Anti-aging roundtable considers innovative options

Key iconKey Points

  • Anti-aging is about reducing risk of diabetes, cancer and other diseases.

CST: Anti-aging has become a catch phrase. What does it mean to you?

Nicholas Perricone, M.D.: Contrary to common thought, anti-aging is not just about helping people look younger. It's about reducing the risk of diabetes, cancer and many other diseases. I see women in their 20s who are very interested in keeping their youthful appearance. This is the point when it's crucial to begin introducing the concepts of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle: getting adequate sleep and hydration, avoiding psychic stress and physical overexertion, embracing antioxidant-rich foods and supplements that reduce or circumvent inflammation. We can no longer as a nation or even as individuals afford to utilize the healthcare system because it is overburdened, and individuals don't have much money at this point. Prevention is the key to saving the healthcare system, and to saving the nation's economy, as well as to taking care of patients.

Bio: Alastair Carruthers, M.D., is clinical professor of dermatology with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Among his notable contributions to the field of dermatology is the use of Botox (Allergan) for cosmetic applications, a discovery he made with his wife, Jean Carruthers, M.D.
David McDaniel, M.D.: True anti-aging as I view it is preventive, or even regenerative. Much of what most cosmetic surgeons currently do is reparative and is more age reversal than true anti-aging. Most of us focus on maintaining the improvements or benefits of cosmetic surgery once we have cared for the patient, but we don't see most of our patients until they are already in a state of 'disrepair.' We need better ways to reach and teach patients at a younger age, when we can have greater impact for more years of their lives.

Bio: Nicholas Perricone, M.D., is an adjunct professor of medicine at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. He is regarded as the father of the Inflammation Theory of Aging.
The desire to delay or avoid surgery altogether has grown considerably, and paralleling this is the movement towards more natural-based products. The improved consistency, safety and longevity of non-surgical cosmetic treatments have had a major impact on cosmetic surgery in the last few years. On the less positive side, there are many ineffective treatments and products, as well as many more which have not been clinically tested, which causes confusion for physicians and patients alike.

Bio: David McDaniel, M.D., is an assistant clinical professor of clinical dermatology and plastic surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School and director of the Institute for Anti-aging Research in Virginia Beach, and co-director of the Hampton University Skin of Color Research Institute in Hampton, Va.
Alastair Carruthers, M.D.: Many of us regard the field of anti-aging medicine as an almost separate entity from cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine, although there is a natural alliance. So it's possible that it may be better for people to practice these specialties in a co-management-like fashion rather than trying to do everything.

CST: What is the most promising development in the field of anti-aging?

Perricone: The most promising development in anti-aging as far as research that I am doing is that we can now use the body's natural mechanism to control gene expression. By using natural substances like foods, food extracts, antioxidants and other chemicals that are found in foods, we can upregulate our protective mechanisms and attenuate the aging process via 'technology' that can be ingested or applied topically.

McDaniel: Genomically guided therapies and home-use diagnostic testing and treatment interventions offer the most promise for our patients. Improved wound healing and reduced scarring through the use of post-operative, home-based light devices is another potentially important area. These home-based devices and genomically guided restorative or regenerative therapies will change the face of anti-aging medicine and surgery.

Carruthers: I think the greatest development in anti-aging is the overall holistic approach that is becoming more commonplace. We are straddling the line between straight medicine and complementary medicine. Straight medicine is that which is supported by good scientific evidence, such as vitamin D, for which we have overwhelming positive data. Complementary medicines, on the other hand, are all of those other potentially beneficial interventions that are so far unproven. The potentially beneficial, but scientifically unproven, interventions are beginning to get a lot more attention.

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