Search Magazine March 12, 2018

Lifespan vs. healthspan

Healthspan vs. lifespan

We all want to live long lives, but not at the expense of our health!

The mythical fountain of youth was thought to do two things: extend lifespan and cure sickness.

That's what JAX scientists are after, too.

Thanks to scientifically based public health advances, the average human lifespan has doubled since 1900. But decreasing mortality for certain diseases has paved the way for other late onset ones like diabetes, chronic kidney disease and Alzheimer’s.

These health issues are expensive to treat and often require prolonged care. But what if there was a way to help us extend our healthspan, delaying age-related health issues, repairing damaged organs and improving our quality of life?

Research shows that  Exploring the diet-life span connectionWhat's wrong with too many cupcakes? Mauro Costa's research with mice is revealing the metabolic effects of our dietary choices.lifestyle factors have a major influence on our healthspan. Each of us can take control of our own health by being physically active, eating healthy foods, staying mentally active and minimizing stress. We can also avoid tobacco use and not skip out on those appointments to see the doctor and dentist.

As for the big,  Exploring the science of agingJAX computational scientist Duygu Ucar bridges the worlds of biology and computer science to unlock the secrets of aging and age-related disease.genetically complex diseases of aging ? It might be a long time before we can prevent Alzheimer’s disease, for example, but with advances in research we could delay the onset and reduce the symptoms of the disease. And that means a  Aging resilientlyHistorically, disease research has focused on what goes wrong in the people who get sick. Researchers at The Jackson Laboratory are now exploring what goes right in healthy aging. longer, healthier life to spend with our families.