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April 1998


Rival Also Set to Publish
New Journal Nears Debut

By I. J. Wolf

Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine According to noted gerontologist Michael Fossel, the theory and application of the study of healthy longevity will be the centerpiece of the new anti-aging journal he will edit. The Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine is to be published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc., and is not to be confused with a rival Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine, also to debut soon; see accompanying story.

The new quarterly publication is intended to provide both a multidisciplinary forum for anti-aging science, and ultimately to make a difference in the exploration of the anti-aging frontier.

Fossel, professor of clinical medicine at Michigan State University, wants to provide a home for research and study that highlights fundamental systems that reverse and prevent aging, as well as to provide a platform for argument on a variety of anti-aging medical issues.

"We're not out to sell anybody's snake oil," notes Fossel. "We want to separate the truth from fiction, and present what really works in a down-to-earth way." Fossel's wants to establish a base of peer-reviewed science while remaining accessible and readable to wider audiences.

Fossel's own work on longevity has been focused on molecular biology and how the smallest genetic units affect life span. He deplores what he sees as a lack of studies based on good scientific method.

One of the regular features planned for the Fossel/Liebert journal will be a point-counterpoint section, in which leaders in the field will engage in discussion and debate.

Reviews of recent gerontological literature also will be regularly scheduled. The first issue will include a look at growth hormone in an article authored by Dr. Jason Wolfe, a professor at Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Conn. Wolfe cautions "that the evidenceshows that sustained elevation of growth hormone in the elderly produces adverse side effects...causing symptoms similar to diabetes, and also possibly increasing the probability of cancer."

Also among the first contributors is Dr. Aubrey de Grey, of Cambridge University, in England. De Grey, a specialist in the theory of oxidative stress as it impacts the aging process, says, "The field of gerontology has always been daunted by the immense biological complexity of human aging, and the consequent difficulty of developing medical technology that could retard it. This has led gerontologists to focus on making aging less painful, and to downplay that it will ever be greatly slowed.

"However, the time for such pessimism is drawing to a close. No one any longer denies that gene therapy will probably become routine within a few decades; the human genome will be fully sequenced much sooner than that. A growing number of well-respected professional biologists and clinicians believe that crucial research breakthroughs may be close at hand. The wider community is well-served by the existence of a high-quality, peer-reviewed journal that acts as a forum for dissemination of such work."

Other stories scheduled for the premier issue of the Fossel/Liebert journal include "Global Implications of Extending the Life Span," by John L. Petersen, "Diabetes and Hypertension as an Increasing Risk Factor for Cerebrovascular Aging in Japan," and "Implications of Recent Work in Cell Senescence," by Fossel.

Upcoming issues will feature "The Human Genome Project: Scientific Promise and Social Problems," "Molecular Analysis of Aging," "Slowing Aging by Calorie Restriction: Nutrition Intervention Studies in Non-Human Primates," and "Antioxidant Drugs in Inflammatory Diseases."

Dr. Bryant Villeponteau, vice president of research for Jouvence Pharmaceuticals Inc., in San Diego, Calif., serves on the Fossel/Liebert journal's peer-review editorial board. "The time for this kind of journal has come, and it's natural for us in the biotech arena to be involved. There's a lot of good scientific research in the area of anti-aging medicine and it needs a place in which to be presented."

Fossel views the time as ripe for spreading the word.

For a complimentary issue of the first issue of the Fossel/Liebert Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine, call 1-800-M-LIEBERT.