The Main Theories of How the Process of Aging Works

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The Main Theories of How the Process of Aging Works This report outlines the main theories of how the process of aging works. Since researchers have not discovered a universally-accepted theory of aging, the theories discussed are potential explanations of how we age. The likelihood of each hypothesis is considered roughly equal. The different theories discussed focus on the workings of different parts of the body, from the molecular level of DNA mutations and replication, to the organism level of becoming “worn out.” Aging is a very complex and gradual process, and its ongoing operation is present to some degree in all individuals. It is a journey to the maturity, as well as to the degeneration of the body. Because aging affects every part of the body, many different steps are involved and various types of reactions occur. Changes in DNA take place, which can and often do affect the way the body functions; harmful genes are sometimes activated, and necessary ones deactivated. A decrease in important body proteins like hormones and certain types of body cells is almost inevitable. These, among many, are characteristic changes that take place in our bodies as time moves on and aging continues. At present, a universal explanation for how we age or why we age does not exist, but there are many theories to explain this puzzle, and they are supported by continuous research. In this report, some of the how theories of aging will be examined. Among them are theories concerning spontaneous mutations, damage from free radicals, the clock gene, cellular aging, a weakened immune system, wear and tear, and hormonal and neuroendocrinous changes. Spontaneous Mutations The spontaneous mutations theory, also known as the s... ... middle of paper ... ...e changes arise because of different signals in the brain (Ricklefs and Finch, 1995, 44). The hormonal and neuroendocrine theory collects evidence mostly from a female way of life, yet both men and women experience the aging process and many of the same characteristics that go with it. The knowledge that the process of aging is very complex can be deduced from the simple fact that there are many entirely different, yet plausible, theories of how aging works. In fact, the possibility that several of these theories are connected, or play a combined part in aging is not far fetched. Yet because the process of aging is so multifarious, just how humans complete or even begin the transition from youth to old age remains a mystery to some extent. However, with new evidence and proof supporting some of these hypotheses, opportunities for a healthier, longer life may arise.

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