Apart from chronic diseases (arthritis, diabetes, etc.), old age is generally characterized by three lesser ailments: muscle weakness, minor memory lapses, and cold intolerance. This trio of complaints may have a common, underlying cause, namely, the age-associated reduced microcirculation in muscles, brain, skin, and elsewhere in the body. The Angiogenesis Hypothesis proposes that old age is in part a deficiency disease due to the decline in angiogenic (AG) factors, resulting in a reduced capillary density (CD) throughout the body. Over fifty published papers document waning levels of AG factors and/or decreased CD in various organ systems of aged animals and people, including those with Alzheimer’s disease. The deficiency of AG factors is analogous to that of certain hormones (e.g., testosterone) whose blood levels also decline with age. In theory, therapeutic angiogenesis employing recombinant AG factors is a tenable treatment for the lesser ailments of old age and may improve the later years of human life. An optimal administration route may be intranasal.

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Published in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, v. 54, no. 1, p. 31-43.

© 2016 – IOS Press and the author

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The document available for download is the author's post-peer-review final draft of the article. The final publication is available at IOS Press through https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-160303.

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