Italy is the longest-lived country in Europe, with 14 million over-65s out of the total population (22.8%) and more than 15 thousand over 100 years old. This constantly increasing trend is the reflection of various factors, including a robust social framework, a national health system of excellence, a deep-rooted cultural component that places the elderly still at the center of the community and protects and respects them, but also a correct dietary lifestyle, just think of the model that represents the Mediterranean diet all over the world.
But the fact of being an old population unfortunately has not only advantages, because the elderly patient inevitably undergoes a physiological decline both in terms of the central nervous system, as well as endocrine and finally immune. Furthermore, the elderly is an even more fragile patient because different, chronic and degenerative morbidities take over and add up, and consequently is subjected to a continuous intake of drugs. The Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated their condition, highlighting how they are the most fragile and most affected targets by infections. A strong appeal to try to tackle this phenomenon and prevent its consequences on the population and national health systems has launched WHO with the ‘Decade of Healthy Aging 2020-2030’ program which intends to guide all health care players – institutional and private – towards a concrete commitment in terms of projects and policies in favor of communities and senior individuals.
To respond promptly to the call of the WHO was Guna Spa, a leading company in Italy in the production of drugs of biological-natural origin which, with the collaboration of the medical and academic world, wanted to give a strong impetus to the dissemination of the culture of prevention and of the most up-to-date scientific knowledge for promote healthy aging, through a series of concrete initiatives.
Among the initiatives promoted by Guna: a web forum on the role of pharmacists in the management of chronic conditions of Seniors and the promotion of a training and refresher course on cognitive and depressive disorders in the elderly aimed at doctors to discuss actions and innovations in this field, among which particular attention was given to the recent study on the role of Bdnf (Brain derived neurotrophic factor) on the modulation markers of aging. There are currently no therapies capable of blocking the neuronal process that engages in neurodegenerative diseases. The use of the family of neutrophic factors of which Bdnf is part, could represent a valid therapeutic solution.
“With these initiatives – he declares Alessandro Pizzoccaro, president of Guna Spa – we wanted to give substance to the guidelines of the WHO ‘Healthy Aging 2020-2030’ program, which invite the private sector to actively participate in the program. In the near future we plan to organize, again in collaboration with the WHO, an activity at European level similar to that carried out in Italy, with the involvement of the faculties of Pharmacy and Medicine, with a view to well-being in favor of the elderly within of a vision of man understood as a totality of body, mind and spirit, which distinguishes Guna’s philosophy and mission “.
“It is only with prevention – he continues – that we can affect the cause of certain ailments and prevent them from being inevitably added to others due to aging. This is why we have launched the prevention program for Seniors, with advice on lifestyle. healthy, on nutrition and on the importance of sociability and physical activity which can be associated with a very modern pharmacology that makes use of low dosages of active ingredients for the management, for example, of some forms of dementia “.