- Discuss the Theories of Aging and How These Relate to the ...
Discuss the Theories of Aging and How These Relate to the Diseases that can affect Humans
The complex and multifactorial nature of aging has been widely
studied in recent years, during which time researchers have
proposed numerous hypotheses to attempt to explain this complicated
process. A plethora of theories exist which contribute to the
evidence. Despite this, the fundamental factors behind the
aging process have yet to be completely understood (Trosko, 2003).
Semsei (2000) acknowledges that a complete overview of the theories
of aging is difficult, due to the abundance of existing research,
but it is widely agreed that the theories can be separated into
separate categories; genetic and evolutionary program theories that
explain intrinsic modifications; and molecular, cellular and
biochemical error theories that explain extrinsic modifications
(Trosko, 2003; Gavrilov & Gavrilov, 2001; Semsei, 2000).
Internal program theories include evolutionary theories, biological
clock theories, and programmed cell death theories. Semsei (2000)
provides an overview of the most pertinent theories, and describes
their fit amongst the different types of hypotheses. External
program theories include those biological clock theories and the
evolutionary theories. System theories that relate to error include
disease theories, neuroendocrine theories, immune theories, free
radical theory, waste accumulation theory and the crosslinking
theory. Mutation theories relating to error include
dioxyribonucleic acid (DNA) mutations, protein mutations, collagen
crosslinks and sugar crosslinks (Semsei, 2000).
Biological effects of cell modification, damage and renewal,
along with effects of external influences of environmental factors
have been considered. It is also evident that various theories have
interlinking associations with others, and this notion of the
multifactorial nature of the aging process is crucial to consider.
Semsei (2000) demonstrates the complexity of the aging process, and
states how the process of aging is ultimately determined by the
effects of the external factors, such as the environment, diet,
political, sociocultural and economic factors, and the internal
factors, such as genetic composition. This research is important
for understanding that, whilst no one theory exists to account for
explanation of the whole of the aging process, the existing
evidence is has been significantly important in contributing facts
about aging. It is probable that no one theory will be able to
provide a single explanation of how and why aging occurs, but it is
the accumulation evidence that provides the basis for what we know
about aging in relation to disease.