Overview

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The Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging at Mayo Clinic is an innovative center where education, research and medical practice come together to improve the quality of life from birth through the sunset years.

The goal of the Kogod Center on Aging is to discover and develop interventions to increase health span — the healthy, productive time in life — and improve the quality of life for older adults.

Aging is the leading risk factor for most chronic diseases, including stroke, heart disease, cancer, dementia, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, blindness and frailty. Research discoveries being made at the Kogod Center on Aging suggest that aging may actually be a modifiable risk factor — aging doesn't have to increase the risk of disease and disability.

Research programs

The Kogod Center on Aging has five research programs:

  • Aging Bone, Muscle and Joint
  • Aging, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Healthy Aging and Independent Living
  • Regenerative Medicine and Aging

These five research programs help bridge the gap between basic science and clinical application, providing a better understanding of the aging process.

Watch a video about the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging.

Transcript

James L. Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D.

I've always found the process of aging itself to be fascinating, and wondered why it happens, and if something fundamental can be done to improve quality of life.

Excitingly, over the last five years or so, we've begun to realize that aging may in fact be a modifiable risk factor. We might be able to do something about these fundamental processes themselves. What Mayo's real strength is, is translating interventions that are discovered in the laboratory into human application.

We're trying to figure out ways where we can delay the onset of age-related disabilities, diseases and dysfunction as a group, so that we don't have to do things like prescribing better wheelchairs, better walkers.

What we all want to do is to be able to prevent people from getting to the point of needing those sort of interventions, so that we can keep people independent, functional, doing everything when they're in their 80s, 90s or hundreds as they were able to do in their 30s, 40s or 50s.

We need to do a lot more work. But if we can carry this off, and if we can translate these interventions into humans, we'd make a much greater impact than, say, curing cancer.