Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging

Currently, basic science and clinical research at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) use approaches that bridge the molecular understanding of diseases/disorders with the macromolecular implementation of corrective measures. Given a philosophy that is unique in the medical community - that being one of an holistic approach centered on the individual with regards to structure and function and how the balance between the two is maintained - the CCDA provides an all-encompassing approach to the problem at hand (see Translational Research).

Training for the Future

The CCDA provides opportunities for advanced training of medical students, residents, and graduate students in numerous disciplines addressing the most pressing needs of aged and geriatric individuals with chronic problems. These opportunities include an advanced understanding of the manifestations of the problems, and insights into the preventive measures than can be taken. Included with prevention is a better understanding of the roles of nutrition, exercise, and environmental enrichment with regards to their positive affects on the overall health of the individual.

Understanding Aging to Better Reduce Risk

There is a distinct need to understand the role of chronic diseases/disorders as a component of the aging process. Modern medicine is enabling people to live longer, but longer life results in an increase in age-related chronic diseases. These diseases/disorders may originate at any point in one's life span and thus study of these processes is required from birth to the end of life. There is renewed interest in determining what causes chronic disease and why the aging process appears to promote an increase in these types of diseases. The approach taken by the Center includes uncovering common features of disease processes that will result ultimately in better treatments and prevention of these problems. Improved holistic treatments can be designed to provide the individual patient with a level of specialized care that is based on knowledge of their particular genetic and environmental risk factors. Knowledge of these risk factors will provide the framework for the development of realistic approaches to prevent chronic diseases, thereby eventually eliminating their enormous impact on society.



The mission of the CCDA is to improve the quality of life for all individuals suffering from age-related chronic diseases and disorders. The CCDA promotes a better understanding of the nature of chronic disease processes by supporting basic and applied investigations, and providing educational opportunities for the community, scientists and health care professionals. The CCDA furthers its mission through an interdisciplinary approach combining scientific research, education, and clinical application into chronic diseases and disorders associated with the aging process.

National Significance

The current national emphasis on chronic diseases as well as the aging of the population in the United States mandates increased efforts in expanding basic and applied research into these combined entities. In addition, to facilitate these aims, we must increase our educational efforts for both health care professionals and the general populace.

The uniqueness of this Center lies in its combined approach of studying chronic diseases/disorders as they apply to the aging process and promoting the application of this knowledge by patients and healthcare providers alike. Current health care budgets and projected costs over the next 10-30 years make this a top priority in the USA as well as worldwide.

As populations continue to age, there are increasing demands on the current and projected resources and societal infrastructures that threaten to diminish the overall quality of life of these very populations. Thus, the CCDA will be a dynamic center for both research and education with emphasis on developing strategies to facilitate the process of healthy aging.