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Volume 1 Issue 4, April 2021

Genetic similarities of age-related diseases

Using genetic and demographic data from the UK Biobank, Donertas and colleagues found that diseases that have similar age-of-onset profiles are also genetically more similar, suggesting common etiological roots. Our cover image depicts three of these age-related disease clusters as groups of leaves of distinct colors on the three main branches of a tree. The colors of the leaves evoke the different human life stages at which these three groups of diseases start to appear.

See Donertas et al.

Image: Spencer Phillips. Cover design: Lauren Heslop.


  • The pandemic has highlighted the need for stronger intergenerational connections. Restarting intergenerational programs and expanding newer initiatives to connect people of different ages must be prioritized in debates about how society should progress post-pandemic.



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  • The latest spat over the potential approval of aducanumab, an amyloid-β-targeting drug for Alzheimer’s disease, highlights continuing controversy over the amyloid-β hypothesis.

    • Mark Zipkin
    News Feature
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Comment & Opinion

  • There is a major and rapidly growing deficiency in the US eldercare workforce at all levels, especially among physicians. Efforts to increase recruitment and retention into geriatrics have failed, especially among critically important educators and researchers. Possible strategies to assure adequate care for older persons are discussed.

    • John W. Rowe
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News & Views

  • Groh and colleagues investigate the age-related degeneration of axons in the optic nerve and other brain regions and show that at least part of this degeneration is due to the presence of T cells.

    • Paloma Navarro Negredo
    • Anne Brunet
    News & Views
  • Using mouse models of osteoarthritis (OA), a new study finds that osteoclasts secrete exosomes that deliver miRNAs to chondrocytes, leading to an increase in metalloproteinase activity in cartilage. A bone-specific inhibitor of exosome production can halt this process, hinting at a new therapeutic strategy for patients with OA.

    • Ingrid Meulenbelt
    • Yolande F. M. Ramos
    • D. Michiel Pegtel
    News & Views
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  • In this Perspective, McMahon et al. examine the emerging roles and implications of post-transcriptional RNA modifications, or the epitranscriptome, in aging and age-related diseases, highlighting potential epitranscriptomic mechanisms and/or their dysfunction that may regulate the aging process.

    • Mary McMahon
    • Craig Forester
    • Rochelle Buffenstein
  • Polypharmacy is a leading health concern entangled with many geriatric syndromes. This Review provides an overview of the current research landscape and a critical appraisal of existing and emerging approaches to address polypharmacy.

    • Raaj S. Mehta
    • Bharati D. Kochar
    • Andrew T. Chan
    Review Article
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