The Results Of Aging Essay

1643 words - 7 pages

Actually it's a report which was completed for OAC English ExcellentTHE RESULTS OF AGINGPrepared forMs. FergusonbyMark TrolleyAbstractThis report presents several aspects of aging. The report looks at a number of theories of why weage, the physical and mental changes we undergo as we age, and several ways of caring for theelderly.March 7, 1997TABLE OF CONTENTSLIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.....iiiINTRODUCTION..............1THEORIES OF WHY WE AGE....2Genetics.............2Cellular.............2Physiological........2PHYSICAL CHANGES..........2MENTAL CHANGES............5Alzheimer's Disease..5Senile Dementia......5CARING FOR THE OLD........6Retirement Communities..6Life-care Facilities....6House Sharing...........6Group Homes.............7Low-cost, Government Subsidized Housing..7Foster Care..............................7Nursing Homes............................7CONCLUSIONS...............9WORKS ....................10LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSTables1. The results of aging.....................................................................................................................4INTRODUCTIONThe purpose of this report is to discuss several aspects of aging.Several theories of why we age, based on genetic research, cellular research, andphysiological research will be examined, along with physical and mental changes that are the resultof aging. Specific mental changes that will be explored are Alzheimer's Disease and SenileDementia. The final aspect to be looked at will be the care of the elderly in retirementcommunities, life-care facilities, house sharing, group homes, low-cost government subsidizedhousing, foster care, and nursing homes.THEORIES OF WHY WE AGESince research into aging is not guided by any one universally accepted theory, genetic,cellular, and physiological studies have yielded several hypotheses.GeneticsThe most popular genetic theory, the Error Theory, assumes that aging is the result of theaccumulation of random genetic damage, or from small errors in the flow of genetic information.The damage or errors would reduce or prevent proper cell function.CellularThe best known theory of aging in cellular research is called the Hayflick Effect, which isnamed after the American microbiologist Leonard Hayflick. He found that certain human cellscould only divide a limited number of times before they die. This may suggest that aging is'programmed' into cells. This could also account for the differences in the life spans of differentanimal species, and the differences in the life spans between the sexes within the same species.PhysiologicalThese theories focus on organ systems and their interrelationships. One area currentlybeing investigated is the immune system. As we age the immune system gradually loses itscapacity to fight off infections and other invaders. As a result, antibodies are produced thatcannot tell the difference between 'friendly' cells and 'enemy' cells. Most experts now believethat aging represents many phenomena working together...

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