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PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT Senescence – biological aging Begins once the body reaches maximum capacity and efficiency Genetically influenced declines in the functioning of organs and systems that are universal in all members of our species Microscopic level of aging Programmed effects of specific genes Kinship studies – you live longer if your parents lived long Existence of “aging genes” that control certain biological changes, such as menopause, grey hair, deterioration of body cells Evidence: human cells allowed to divide until nothing was left Random events theory DNA in body cells is gradually damaged thru spontaneous or externally caused mutations As they accumulate, cell repair and replacement becomes less efficient. Abnormal, cancerous cells are produced Organ and tissue level of aging Cross-linkage theory of aging Over time, protein fibers that make up the body’s connective tissue form bonds, or links, with one another. When these normally separate fibers cross-link, tissue becomes less elastic, leading to negative outcomes Loss of flexibility in skin/organs Clouding the lens of the eye Clogging arteries Damage to kidneys
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PHYSICAL CHANGES THAT OCCUR Cardiovascular Hypertension – high blood pressure Heart performance declines with age during stressful experiences Difficult delivering enough oxygen Atherosclerosis – heavy deposits of plaque containing cholesterol and fats collect in the walls of main arteries Heart disease has declined Less smoking Better medical detection and treatment Respiratory Maximum vital capacity declines by 10% per decade after age 25 Connective tissue in the lungs, chest muscles, ribs stiffen with age – more difficult for lungs to expand to full volume
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