Anti-aging medicine is a new medical approach that considers the genomic, molecular, metabolic, psychological and behavioural aspects of each individual with the aim of discovering, preventing and treating aging-related pathologies and slowing the decline of the human organism.
The cornerstones of anti-aging medicine can be summarised as the 4Ps:
In other words, we can today predict and prevent the development of a great many diseases by taking a personalised approach to therapy and ensuring a real partnership of doctor and patient.
THE INTEGRATED APPROACH OF ANTI-AGING MEDICINE
The 4Ps of anti-aging medicine form a new care model that gets to the very root of the disease, not content with merely treating symptoms.
Anti-aging medicine recognises that the pathological symptoms shown by our body are often better treated if dealt with simultaneously, in an integrated fashion. In practical terms, anti-aging medicine acts on various areas:
1. Nutrition and natural and pharmacological therapies
In anti-aging medicine, nutrition is more correctly considered as nutrigenomics, a new approach that no longer sees food as a simple set of calories, but rather as information that enters the body, regulating cell processes and gene expression. The patient is offered a complete diet plan and a carefully-focused prescription of nutraceutical products that help restore optimum metabolic function.
2. Hormonal balance
Another area treated by anti-aging medicine is that of functional endocrinology. This starts out with an integrated analysis of the neuroendocrine system with a view to restoring a correct hormonal balance – one of the key strategies adopted in any preventive intervention.
3. Psychological and physical balance and unity of body and mind
In personalised, integrated medicine, as is anti-ageing medicine, the interaction of body and mind is also studied. The stress levels of each individual person are determined precisely, in order to thereafter successfully ensure a correctly-focused intervention to manage psychological and physical well-being.
4. Fitness and physical activity
Prevention is only possible if due attention is also paid to physical activity. In anti-aging medicine, various different parameters of a persons’ performance are measured in order to define a personalised physical training programme as a key part of the complete prevention programme.
ANTI-AGING MEDICINE OBJECTIVES
Anti-aging medicine or functional medicine considers genomic and molecular aspects, as well as the psychology and behaviour of each and every individual. The following clinical goals are set:
1. To prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, endocrine dysfunctions, metabolic disease and some forms of tumour;
2. To prevent and treat excess weight gain and obesity;
3. To develop diagnostic and preventive routes in the field of functional endocrinology, including therapies with bioidentical hormones to correct endocrine imbalances, including those associated with subclinical hypothyroidism, menstrual problems, peri-menopausal issues, menopause and andropause;
4. To prevent cognitive dysfunctions such as memory deficit and Alzheimer’s disease;
5. To prevent and treat motor dysfunctions including a sedentary lifestyle and to prescribe preventive and rehabilitation motor therapy programmes;
6. To diagnose and treat osteopaenia and prevent osteoporosis;
7. To develop programmes to evaluate and reduce psychological-social stress and to manage anxiety and depression;
8. To identify genomic predisposition towards chronic-degenerative disease and to develop personalised prevention programmes.
Today, medicine needs a new, preventive approach focused on a better management of chronic pathologies and on generally improving health. Anti-aging medicine is the first and only field of medicine that makes the latest scientific discoveries available in order to achieve this result.
Filippo Ongaro was born in Milan on 30th June 1970. He grew up in Milan, London and Venice as his family moved to suit the work of his journalist and writer father, Alberto, long-standing special correspondent for L’Europeo. Influenced not only by his father’s work but also by the books and life of his aunt Franca Ongaro Basaglia, who, together with her husband Franco Basaglia, reformed Italian psychiatry, Dr Ongaro grew up in a creative cultural and family environment that constantly encouraged him to look beyond the standard, to “think outside the box”. For years, he was appointed physician to the astronauts of the European Space Agency (ESA); he was also the first Italian to obtain Board Certification in Anti-Aging Medicine from the American Board of Regenerative & Anti-Aging Medicine and a diploma in functional medicine from the Institute for Functional Medicine. Dr. Ongaro il also a professional journalist (member of the Italian Registry of Journalists) and author of numerous best-sellers.
He graduated in Medicine and Surgery from Ferrara University, later winning the contest for the School of Specialisation in Sports Medicine run by Prof. Francesco Conconi. Whilst attending the Specialisation School, he worked at the Deutsche Sporthochschule (Secondary Sports School) in Cologne (Germany), where he also began attending the local European Astronaut Centre of the European Space Agency. Shortly afterwards, he took a permanent position as doctor with the European Space Agency. During this period, he worked closely with Prof. Carmelo Bosco, an internationally-famous exercise physiologist. He also attended a specific training course in Russia to become Flight Surgeon.
Dr Ongaro is the first Italian to ever have obtained a Diploma in Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP) from the Functional Medicine Institute and to be certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (ABAARM) from the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M).
EXPERIENCE WITH THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY
Dr Ongaro worked for the European Space Agency as the astronauts’ physician, specifically dealing with aspects relating to team nutrition, physical preparation and rehabilitation.
In this role, he collaborated with the NASA (Houston)’s Johnson Space Center experts and the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (Russia). He was able to work in close contact with numerous European and international research centres. And it was during this period of intense clinical experience that he met his wife, Sonja, a German psychologist and consultant for the European Space Agency, who was to go on to become his main collaborator.
In addition to dealing with the astronauts’ health, these years also saw Dr Ongaro implement what can only be described as a real transfer of technology: by studying scientific literature, contacting the researchers and reworking their results in practical terms, he was able to make considerable improvements to the medical and rehabilitation programmes designed for astronauts.
THE ACCEPTANCE OF A NEW METHOD: ANTI-AGING MEDICINE
It was in working in some of medicine’s most advanced environments that Dr Ongaro first began mulling over the idea that practical medicine, as it was offered to patients in hospitals on an everyday basis, was in desperate need of a major overhaul. In most cases, medicine had little consideration of prevention and rather tended to intervene late, when the disease had already gained the upper hand against the patient’s physical and psychological health.
After having attended training courses in the United States of America, Dr Ongaro became a pioneer of anti-ageing medicine in Europe.
After having fully understood the potential of prevention and care in anti-aging medicine, Dr Ongaro and his wife helped found the Istituto di Medicina Rigenerativa e Anti-Aging (ISMERIAN, Treviso), of which Dr Ongaro continues to be Scientific Director. ISMERIAN quickly became a point of reference both in Italy and throughout Europe for patients and doctors alike, seeking a new, yet highly scientific approach to the prevention of chronic pathologies; it is also the main place of Dr Ongaro’s clinical work. In addition to attending numerous national and foreign congresses, Dr Ongaro also lectures at the Masters course in Space Physiology & Health at King’s College London, is a member of NASA’s Human Health & Performance Center and is adjunct professor at the University of Bologna.
Dr Ongaro has made a conscious choice not to devote his time to research, instead preferring to concentrate on clinical application and dissemination, also a firm believer that all too often published research findings are not sufficiently used in practical medicine.
Dr Ongaro is Deputy Chairman of the Accademia Funzionale del Fitness-Wellness-Antiaging, Deputy Chairman of the Associazione Medici Italiani Anti-Aging (AMIA) and member of the following scientific associations: American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Institute for Functional Medicine, European Society of Preventive, Regenerative and Anti-Aging Medicine; he is also certified by the International School of Gynecological Endocrinology (ISGE). Dr. Ongaro is also a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Life Extension Foundation (Fort Lauderdale, USA).
Dr Ongaro is registered with the Treviso Order of Doctors (no. 04810) and qualified to practise also in Switzerland, in the canton of Geneva, where he works as senior medical office at the Age Management Center of the Clinique Generale Beaulieu.
In addition to dedicating himself to clinical work, Dr Ongaro is a journalist and has also authored numerous books disseminating information and regularly collaborates with various national newspapers and radio and television broadcasters. He is also a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists of the Missouri School of Journalism.
Dr Ongaro remains first and foremost an anti-aging physician who goes about his everyday work at the ISMERIAN, the Istituto di Medicina Rigenerativa e Anti-Aging dedicated to preventive and anti-aging medicine. The centre is based in Treviso (see map) and truly is one of a kind on the Italian and European scene. This is why patients from all over Italy and elsewhere in Europe have chosen to be treated by Dr Ongaro and the staff of ISMERIAN.
ISMERIAN INSITUTE SERVICES
The integrated, personalised approach taken at the ISMERIAN takes the form of a detailed study of the health of each patient, aimed at developing a tailor-made preventive therapeutic programme.
Hence for years now Dr Ongaro has been successfully using a specific diagnostic methodology. For all services, the first step is to request the case history questionnaires which Dr Ongaro and his staff then use to understand which services are most suitable for an individual patient. There are four main groups of services offered by the institute:
1. Integrated check-up
The integrated check-up conceived by Dr Ongaro is the first step along an educational route that is travelled through an evaluation of the patient’s health in medical, psychological-physical and motor terms, aimed at developing a personalised prevention programme. The check-up takes place over a single day, by appointment, and generally lasts 4-5 hours.
Once the check-up is complete and he has had a chance to analyse the data recorded, Dr Ongaro and his staff provide the patient with a complete written report on the personalised therapeutic programme created.
2. Medical consultancy
Those needing a more focussed medical evaluation only can benefit from Dr Ongaro’s shorter consultancy, yet which is still able to ensure the preparation of personalised medical therapy.
3. Psychological-physiological consultancy, stress management and coaching
Those looking to reduce stress and optimise mental performance can enjoy the help of Dr Ongaro, assisted by his wife Sonja Grevenitz Ongaro, and their specially-developed psychological-physiological assessment and coaching programme consisting of an evaluation session followed by a series of coaching sessions to improve psychological and physical condition.
4. Motor evaluations
ISMERIAN offers those needing a personalised programme of physical activity a set of specific tests able to determine motor weaknesses and develop a focussed programme to improve them.
Star Bene Davvero
(Piemme, May 2014)
What does being well actually mean today? Is taking up a diet, starting running and signing up for a gym course really enough? So why do almost all our good intentions concerning health and well-being seem destined to fail? The truth of the matter is that the complexity of contemporary living and the high stress levels that go hand-in-hand with modern lifestyles give rise to behaviour that conflicts horribly with what we know is right and necessary. Chasing after the illusion of gratification that is as intense as it is fleeting, we end up considering our well-being as just one of many accessories to be stored at the back of our wardrobe before being forgotten. Yet being well and being well with the world, is at the same time our reason and purpose for living. Dr Ongaro has written an important book that does not start and end with symptoms, but rather presents an articulated investigation into the root causes of an imbalance that, far before being physical, is mental and emotional, providing its readers with a complete guide to live a healthy, rich, satisfying life. Not just food; not just supplements and beauty; not just exercise and relaxation; rather, a complex “set” of all this and more forming a practical, effective programme that becomes the cornerstone of our very existence.
Mangiare ci fa belli
(Piemme, April 2013)
Liking ourselves, feeling happy in ourselves, appreciating the strength and vigour of our muscles, our skin tone and hair volume. This is a legitimate desire at any age, because beauty is the expression of a state of harmony and health. True beauty is functional: often what we consider to be defects or flaws (like wrinkles, a paunch, cellulite, damaged hair), are none other than the external symptoms of more extensive health issues that can be dealt with and corrected.
La spesa della salute
(Piemme, September 2012)
Do we really know what we buy? What attracts us to certain food products rather than others? Prevention starts from shopping, as is shown by this simple buying guide that gives the reader 10 easy rules to apply in order to ensure healthier living starting from these everyday activities, shopping the right way.
Mangia che dimagrisci
(Piemme, April 2012)
For decades, scores of “experts” of the western world have been dishing out magic formulas, one after the other, ready to be used to lose weight. They are almost always the same, with just a few variants dictated in a transitory manner, discussing calories, energy balance “incomings” that need to be less than “consumptions”. Those wishing to lose weight are simply bombarded by an infinite wealth of diets, many of which, after an initial, noisy “splash”, then fade away into silence.
Mangia che ti passa
(Piemme, April 2011)
Would you put sand in your car’s tank? Of course not! Yet many of us do exactly that, day after day, with a far more valuable, delicate machine: our body. Over a lifetime of 80 years, a person ingests an average of between 30 and 60 tonnes of food. We should therefore take great care not to underestimate the effect of nutrition on our health.
Le 10 chiavi della salute
(Salus Infirmorum, 2008)
The health systems of developed countries are about to have to face up to an emergency of vast proportions: the society’s ageing, together with a progressive decline in the quality of life, has now reached virtually unsustainable dimensions. A hundred thousand people die every day across the globe from ageing-related diseases. These deaths increasingly take place after years of suffering, loneliness and an incapacity to manage one’s own life.