Author Insight: COVID-19, and Geroprotective and Senoremediative Interventions (2020)



February 3, 2022

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  • Aging Editorial Board member and Founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine, Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, discusses his 2020 COVID-19 research perspective published by Aging (Aging-US), entitled, "Geroprotective and senoremediative strategies to reduce the comorbidity, infection rates, severity, and lethality in gerophilic and gerolavic infections." DOI - Corresponding author - Alex Zhavoronkov - Abstract: The recently identified SARS-CoV-2 betacoronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered the age-associated vulnerability in the burden of disease and put aging research in the spotlight. The limited data available indicates that COVID-19 should be referred to as a gerolavic (from Greek, géros “old man” and epilavís, “harmful”) infection because the infection rates, severity, and lethality are substantially higher in the population aged 60 and older. This is primarily due to comorbidity but may be partially due to immunosenescence, decreased immune function in the elderly, and general loss of function, fitness, and increased frailty associated with aging. Immunosenescence is a major factor affecting vaccination response, as well as the severity and lethality of infectious diseases. While vaccination reduces infection rates, and therapeutic interventions reduce the severity and lethality of infections, these interventions have limitations. Previous studies showed that postulated geroprotectors, such as sirolimus (rapamycin) and its close derivative rapalog everolimus (RAD001), decreased infection rates in a small sample of elderly patients. This article presents a review of the limited literature available on geroprotective and senoremediative interventions that may be investigated to decrease the disease burden of gerolavic infections. This article also highlights a need for rigorous clinical validation of deep aging clocks as surrogate markers of biological age. These could be used to assess the need for, and efficacy of, geroprotective and senoremediative interventions and provide better protection for elderly populations from gerolavic infections. This article does not represent medical advice and the medications described are not yet licensed or recommended as immune system boosters, as they have not undergone clinical evaluation for this purpose. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - Press release - Keywords - COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, sirolimus, rapalog About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at​​ and connect with us: SoundCloud - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube -​ LinkedIn - Pinterest - Aging-US is published by Impact Journals, LLC:​​ Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

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