Dysfunction associated with the aging process positions aging as a leading culprit for development of devastating diseases and mounting healthcare costs. Many age-associated conditions for which aging increases risk are neurological disorders with no effective treatments, including Alzheimer’s disease.
As the proportion of aged individuals continues to rise in the coming decades, aging-related costs are expected to increase dramatically. Diverse approaches have emerged to meet the clinical need to treat aging and its associated conditions, including those aimed at increasing longevity, slowing the aging process itself, and improving healthspan. An emerging approach takes advantage of molecules circulating in the blood to limit or reverse aspects of aging in various organs throughout the body. Efforts are underway to translate these findings into novel therapeutics that harness the activity of youth-associated molecules present within blood.
Here we discuss the current state of blood-based approaches in this arena. Despite the apparent ease with which blood products might conceivably be applied as treatment paradigms, we propose that challenges nonetheless exist, which may be overcome with mechanistic studies that identify common pathways for targeted therapeutics.