The aging process refers to the dynamic changes that are a result of biological, environmental, physiological, and psychological processes. There are some aging processes that are benign, including the greying of hair. Other aging processes result in a reduction in the proper functioning of the body, limiting the everyday activities of a person. These may include susceptible to catching diseases, or ultimate disability. There are a number of advanced aging processes that are also linked with the development of chronic illnesses in humans.
There are a number of theories that have been developed to explain aging. These theories are a result of tests that have been performed on laboratory animals. The results are later upscaled on the human level.
There is no single key that can explain aging. However, studies show that the aging rate can be slowed significantly over a period of time. Targeting aging can hence, slow down the rate at which the process occurs and remove the risk of the development of diseases/disabilities. As a result of this, the life span of a person can be increased significantly.
Researchers at the NIA have made a number of analysis that ranges from social to molecular, in order to understand the nature of aging and the factors that determine tits rate among different people. At the same time, factors that determine who ages bad and who ages well, have also been considered. However, as mentioned earlier, there is no single key as of yet. This is because there are a number of factors that include the environment, behavioral, lifestyle, genetic, and social factors that influence the progression of aging.
It is very important to find the factors and causes that put people at a higher risk of age-related diseases. This is the only way, in order to develop preventive resources and early diagnosis/detection and treatment.
In general, there are two goals of modern science with regard to the aging process.
Goal 1: Understanding the biology of the aging process and the way it impacts the prevention, progression, and the prognosis of disability and diseases.
Goal 2: To understand the effects of interpersonal, personal, and social factors on the aging process which includes the mechanisms that these factors use to exert effects.
At the same time, scientists are also focusing on reversing aging. However, this area of research has not shown a lot of promise. Still, there are a number of indications that the aging of the brain can be reversed, which is indeed good news for many people. This is because, with the passage of time, some areas of the brain that are involved in cognitive functions start to lose their capability. This is one of the reasons why Alzheimer’s affects elderly people especially those above 60 more commonly. With reverse aging of the mind, such diseases can be prevented and even be cured.
However, the road to reverse aging of both the mind and the body seems to be a long one as research about different possibilities is still on-going.