Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging
Research at PCOM
The mission of the Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging (CCDA) at Philadelphia College
of Osteopathic Medicine 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 healthcare 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
Currently, basic science and clinical research at 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.
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
Facilitating the process of healthy aging
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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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.
Contact the Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging
4170 City Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19131