Success and Development

Ana Aslan

Life History - Part 18



Parasek Margosian
Parasek Margosian
Ana Aslan at Uno
Ana Aslan at Uno

Against all odds, she was made the Chairman for Prophylactic Medicine by the World Health Organisation in 1959. More and more responsibilities came her way, while her Institute for Gerontologist and Geriatrics in Bucharest grew steadily. Ana Aslan came nearer to the fulfilment of her life goal: to help older people whom she had loved since her childhood and to whom she dedicated her whole life. There was still deplorable abuses in this area. In 1960, for instance, the totally neglected and starving Parasek Margosian was admitted to the clinic. He simply been dumped in the Strada Caldarusani, where the Institute was. He was 105 years old, weighed 47 kgs and was totally unresponsive. Even Ana Aslan had little hope of helping him in this condition, and thought Procain therapy would be senseless. Nevertheless, she wanted to try everything and began injecting him with the substance regularly. The patient recovered completely, put on weight, and died 11 years later at the biblical age of 116 years. An exception, as Ana Aslan herself declared: “At such an advanced age, revitalisation seems impossible. But when you begin at the age of 45 or 50, the cures will probably be successful.”


  • The research program of the Institute comprised the following areas: Study of the Third Age with the help of Pathological examinations,
  • Age Prophylaxis and therapy, as well as
  • The organisation and execution of care for people in the third Age.

More and more empirical studies were being executed. The most extensive comprised the observation of altogether 15,000 industrial labourers over a period of 2 years. About half of these were observed over a period of 8 years. These numbers are unimaginable for modern conditions, and were probably only possible in a Communist country. A study of this extent would be impossible financially because of the daily subsidy that people participating in medical trials would receive today. On the other hand, scientific procedures are so advanced today, that with significant smaller numbers of participants, it is still possible to extract accurate information. The extent of the research contributed by Ana Aslan's Institute in those days remains unbelievable.


Added to “Clinical Gerontology” and to the “Biology of Ageing”, the research complex was completed by adding the important department for “Socio-Gerontology”, which was devoted to the social aspect of human ageing. Gerontology and Geriatrics developed slowly but surely from a peripheral science to an all-encompassing social science. Inter-disciplinary work was most important to Ana Aslan. Her research included not only doctors and biologists, but also sociologists, psychologists, demographers, bio-physicians, pharmacologists, and even mathematicians and economists.


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