Hallmarks of Aging

If we know more about the biological hallmarks of aging, we may be able to challenge them scientifically. Read about them and their role in aging.

Your peek into the aging process.

Aging manifests as a weakening of physical function. But the aging process stems from the malfunction of cells all over the body that then affect the body’s ability to work properly. The human body is exposed to multiple environmental and internal stimuli that can result in complex changes at the genomic, cellular and tissue levels. Damage to cells that may result from some of these influences can lead to dysfunction. As the damage accumulates, we start to show signs of age.

In recent years, discoveries have shown how aging is controlled by specific biochemical processes and genetic pathways. Understanding where it happens and how it happens opens the door to being able to control the aging process. Research is revealing ways that we can intervene and slow down the rate of aging by delaying the damage—or even reversing it. We can stay younger longer, and we can retain youthful cells, even into our older years. Our understanding of aging pathways is constantly growing. Scientists have identified 9 key triggers of the aging process. These “hallmarks of aging” are crucial to understanding how the body thrives and what happens when it doesn’t. These mechanisms that signal that the body is starting to break down are: genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion and altered intracellular communication. Scientists are focusing on these areas to find ways to slow the aging process and increase healthspan. Understanding how aging works—and how to minimize it—is providing opportunities to start to change the way we live and the way we think about our future.
Hallmarks of Aging
Hallmarks of Aging Wheel
It is now generally established among scientists in the aging field, that there are nine important pathways related to aging and most are interconnected.
López-Otín C, Blasco MA, Partridge L, Serrano M, Kroemer G. The hallmarks of aging. Cell. 2013;153(6):1194-1217. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.039
Hallmarks of Aging

The Hallmarks of Aging: Science Brings New Insights and Optimism to Human Longevity

We are learning more about how the human body ages and, in the process, what might be done to slow it down or even reverse it. This guide to the Hallmarks of Aging begins to explain the new power and innovation science will bring us.

September 30, 2020

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