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Biol 187 notes - Notes from Matt Biology of Aging Edward...

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4/5/07 Notes from Matt Biology of Aging Edward Plonka, MD Office Hours Thursday 5-6 pm, Department of Biology Office Major Concepts Aging is a process of progressive loss of organ function with decreasing reserve capacity; variable from individual to individual Example- heart rate Reserve capacity- potential of an organ to adapt to its changing environment In the case of the heart, the ability of the heart rate to change from rest to maximum Maximum heart rate decreases with age Max heart rate = 220 – age in years So, your max heart rate is restricted by age no matter your physical condition Varies from individual to individual- depends on other factors (environment, genetics, etc.) Chronic illnesses increase with age and confuse researchers’ attempts to delineate normal aging from chronic disease states Example- asthma With normal aging, people develop lung problems and diseases that appear similar to asthma, so with age it is difficult to differentiate Example- heart disease Coronary heart disease appears similar to what happens to the heart due to normal aging Chronologic age is not equivalent to biologic age 60 years old by the calendar may not be 60 years old biologically Progeria- genetic predisposition to accelerated aging Several different types, one of which is Werner’s Syndrome Werner’s Syndrome- recessive, occurs about 1 in 1,000,000 Werner’s Syndrome is a specific chromosomal defect on chromosome #8 Causes a helicase enzyme defect Helicase unwinds DNA strands Affect fibroblast cells In their 20s Grey hair Thinning of skin (atrophy) In their 30s Cataracts Diabetes Osteoporosis Infertility In their 40s Atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) Heart attack Stroke Cancer- prostate, brain, mesenchymal cells All of this is essentially accelerated aging Down’s Syndrome Genetic defect where there is an extra copy of 21 st chromosome Premature aging 100% develop Alzheimer’s Two types of research studies Cross-sectional study Look at groups of people across several age groups Single “snapshot” in time Least expensive, easiest to do Alternate explanations for observed changes Longitudinal study Study single individuals over the course of a lifetime Most expensive, follow-up is difficult More valid results
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Interaction between genetics and environment influence aging Twin studies- longevity (life span) is 1/3 genetic and 2/3 environmental Environmental factors- diet, exercise, lifestyle, etc. General Info 1. Population is aging a. In US in 1900, 4% of population over 65 b. In 2000, 12% of population is over 65 c. By 2040, estimated 18% of population will be over 65 2. Increasing percentage of those over 65 who are 75 or older a. In 2000, 47% of those over 65 are also over 75 b. Important because with increasing age there is an increasing demand for healthcare and support systems 3. Sex differential a. At age of 85, there are 45 males for every 100 females b. Women survive better alone than men c. Over 75, ½ of women live alone d. Over 75, 1 out of 5 men live alone 4. Geographic distribution a.
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