Functional Deviation Syndrome (Cont'd)
A critical concept in the Hypothesis is that the loss of function or "infirmities of aging" are a different phenomena from chronological aging. The founder's observation that he and thousands of other older people were getting stronger and healthier with the passage of time is what sparked the establishment of the Institute and the research that resulted in the Hypothesis. The founder knew that he hadn't "reversed aging." Many of the cosmetic signs of aging persisted. But he had reversed the infirmities of aging. The only way to reconcile these observations was to disconnect the two.
Cosmetic changes and dysfunctionality are both caused by the same phenomenon -- the accumulation of damage at the cellular level over time. However, evolution provided us with a Growth Process that has the effect of reversing the damage that leads to dysfunctionality. Throughout evolutionary history, energy/sufficient food has been a constraining factor. The Growth Process uses a lot of energy. Utilizing some of that precious energy to reverse cosmetic changes at the risk of not having sufficient energy to repair damage that would lead to dysfunctionality in a critical organ would not have been favored by natural selection.
To clarify the critical distinction between the loss of function and the aging process, the Hypothesis defines the deviation from our genetic programming to be Functional Deviation Syndrome (“FDS”). FDS is a deficiency disorder, like scurvy or rickets. Like all deficiency disorders, if the deficiency is not corrected, the symptoms of the disorder intensify over time. That is the only association between FDS and aging. FDS can afflict any person of any age. All chronic degenerative disorders, and thus all of the aging-associated diseases that are characterized by a progressive loss of function, are merely aspects or symptoms of FDS, which in turn, is a measure of the difference between phenotype and genotype.
Because FDS has historically afflicted every human who has lived to a sufficient age, the loss of function that is caused by FDS has been inextricably linked to aging itself. Everyone believes that over time, all humans will progressively lose function, suffer from aging-associated diseases and die. The Hypothesis makes clear that that pervasive belief is incorrect. There is no inextricable linkage between FDS and aging. FDS is just another disease.
The Growth Process acts as a countervailing force to the forces of entropy - the universal tendency of all matter to break down over time. Our actual condition is a result of the balance between those two opposing forces. Medical science has recognized the half of the equation that relates to entropy. We have made an effort to eliminate environmental factors that tend to speed up the breaking down process – smoking, pollution, undue stress, etc. Where medical science has failed is that it has not recognized that the other side of the equation is the great variable. It is the failure of the Growth Process that allows the forces of entropy to prevail. FDS is the result of that failure.