Aging is a complex mechanism of progressive and irreversible processes occurring to molecules, to cells and to the whole organism and ending with death. Genetic - so called "programmed" - factors and the combination of environmental interactions play the most important role in its development. Changes in macromolecules caused by free radicals, non-enzymatic glycosylation and apoptosis have a special role in the pathomechanism of aging. Endocrine and immune systems have also an important influence and control on the process. Those environmental effects, as for example irradiation, toxic chemicals, metal ions, free radicals play a determinant role in the development of aging. Diseases of old age should be distinguished from aging per se, although changes in old age increase the frequency of diseases. Those aging changes, which are associated with a generalized increase in mortality (but not with specific disease) would qualify as biomarkers of aging and would distinguish biological age from chronological age (passage of time). Because of increased average lifetime of people in the "western world", basic and clinical research in connection with aging and geriatrics has special importance in medicine. Better understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms of aging could improve not only feasible solutions to slow down the aging process as well.
|Translated title of the contribution||The molecular biology of aging - Therapeutic interventions?|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 12 2006|
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