Apart from major illnesses and chronic afflictions, the elderly experience lesser ailments, such as muscle weakness, cold intolerance, and transient memory lapses. Physical signs in the aged include wrinkled skin and the slow healing of skin abrasions. These ailments and signs are grouped together because they may be due in part to an age-linked, waning microcirculation. A reduced capillary density (CD) throughout the body of aged people and animals has been reported in over 40 papers. The reduced CD is due in turn to declining levels of angiogenic growth factors (AGFs) throughout the body during old age, as documented in 7 reports in the literature. From this perspective, old age is a deficiency state of AGFs, much like the reduced testosterone levels in elderly males. The above data on reduced CD and AGFs are the basis for the “angiogenesis hypothesis of aging”, whose corollary suggests pro-angiogenesis therapy for symptoms and signs of old age. Several AGFs are now available in recombinant forms (e.g., vascular endothelial growth factor) and have been used safely in animal experiments and in short-term clinical trials.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Ambrose, Charles T., "Pro-Angiogenesis Therapy and Aging: A Mini-Review" (2017). Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics Faculty Publications. 114.