Gero510-Diseases & Aging2

Gero510-Diseases & Aging2 - AGING: AN OVERVIEW Joanna...

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AGING: AN OVERVIEW Joanna M. S. Davies, M.D., F.A.C.P. Adjunct Assoc. Prof. Gerontology
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Physiology of Aging “We are all amateurs; we don’t live long enough to become anything else.” Charlie Chaplin
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Significance of Human Aging People live longer now than ever before By 2030, 20% of the US population will be 65 and older Significant challenge to medicine - ethical, financial, etc.
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Significance of Human Aging What is “normal” in the aging process - primary aging More susceptibility to disease - secondary aging More heterogeneity in the elderly population Onset indeterminable and progression varied Genetic and environmental factors
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Successful Aging Prevalence of disease increases with age Proposed pathways of aging: Aging with disease and disability Usual aging; absence of pathology but presence of decline in function Healthy aging; no pathology or functional loss Pathway goals: De-emphasize aging characterized by decline Emphasize heterogeneity among elderly Underscore positive pathway of aging Highlights possible avoidance of disease associated with aging
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Successful Aging - homeostasis less efficient, but still present
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Significance of Human Aging Gender is a significant factor Lifestyle a primary factor Various theories of aging attempt to explain the process - bottom line, there is disruption of homeostasis
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DISEASES OF AGING WHAT IS DISEASE AND WHAT IS NORMAL AGING? MOST DISEASES HAVE AN INCREASED INCIDENCE WITH AGE; BUT ARE NOT UNIQUE TO THE ELDERLY Aging and death seems somehow inherent to human cells, or at least those cells within our environment. Normal human cells die out after dividing a number of times, even when kept alive in ideal laboratory nutrient conditions. But some cancer cells and virus-infected cells can be "immortal" and divide indefinitely. What makes human cells inherently full of death? Is it programmed? Or if we can cure all known human diseases, will humans live indefinitely?
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Cell Senescence and Death Cell senescence much like apoptosis Occurs throughout life Arresting growth of damaged/dysfunctional cells Beneficial early in life; may contribute to aging later
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Or is aging a disease itself? There are diseases that cause premature aging. Perhaps normal aging is a disease too. And if so, can it be cured or delayed? An interesting question is whether people would die if they had a "perfect" environment. Is the human body capable of immortality given the right environment? If a human could get the ideal atmosphere, diet, light, and other external factors, would they live forever? Or is there a programmed age limit for cells no matter what environment humans live in? Most diseases of aging are an accumulation
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2011 for the course GERO 310 taught by Professor Davies during the Fall '09 term at USC.

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Gero510-Diseases & Aging2 - AGING: AN OVERVIEW Joanna...

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