Jason Hope, the Arizona entrepreneur who founded Jawa, among other companies, recently made a gigantic $500,000 donation to the SENS Foundation, a non-profit medical research organization dedicated to fighting the worst diseases of advancing age.
The donation was slated by Hope to be used for ongoing research into atherosclerosis. This disease is the underlying process that leads to some of the worst diseases in the United States, including the number one killer, heart attack. But other serious diseases such as stroke, peripheral artery disease and even kidney failure and dementia are closely associated with atherosclerosis.
But what Jason Hope is really after is an even bigger prize. The medical consensus is quickly forming around the idea that inflammation, an important process in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque, is one of the root causes of just about every major disease process associated with age-related degenerative diseases. Everything from wrinkled skin to arthritic joints is now believed to be, at least in part, related to inflammation and immune responses in general. Hope believes that if these processes can be understood at their most fundamental, molecular level, something akin to a real life Fountain of Youth may someday become available.
Rather than treating a patchwork of illnesses as they come up in geriatric populations, Hope thinks that it may someday be possible to treat aging itself. By dramatically slowing or even stopping the process of aging, most of the illnesses that primarily affect the elderly will become relics of the past, like malaria, plague or malnutrition.
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