AGING: WHAT IS AGING?

SIGNS SYMPTOMS / DISEASES INDEX (A) / AGING: WHAT IS AGING?
Read about aging medical facts: what is the definition of aging, population aging, senescence, divisions of lifespan, and related aging diseases.

Definition: What is "Aging"?

AGING

Aging, also known as the cycle of life, is any form of change of an organism as time passes. There are many dimensions to aging such the physical, psychological, mental & emotional aspects. For example, the time of reaction of a human being is lessened or slowed as he ages while his wisdom & knowledge of facts may improve. There should be a distinction between universal aging (where all people go through) & probabilistic aging (which is a type of aging that occurs only to some & not all individuals). An example of probabilistic aging is the manifestation of diabetes mellitus. Chronological aging refers to the actual age of an individual & it can clearly be distinguished from social aging (where the society expects people to behave in accordance to their age & status). The third type of aging is biological aging (which is the person's physical state as he ages). Age measurement is done through entire years or months in the case of infants. An individual's birthday is often a significant event. As to mental aging, it is a bit more challenging to categorize individuals under this type because an older person does not guarantee mental or emotional capacities that are greater than the younger generation.

Population Aging

Population aging is a raise on the number of older people in proportion to everyone in the society. It has three probable causes: a longer life expectancy (a decrease on the death rate), migration & decreased rate of birth. The effects of age when it comes to being a part of the society can be very powerful. Records indicate that it is the juvenile, who commit the most crimes, are more probable to go for political or social changes, which have need for education. On the other end of the spectrum, it is the old who have more influence in politics & the society in general.

Senescence

The biological definition of senescence is the state or actual process of aging. Cellular senescence happens when the isolated cells exhibit limited abilities in dividing in culture (called the Hayflick limit). This was discovered in 1965 by Leonard Hayflick. Organismal senescence is the life cycle of organisms.

Divisions of Lifespan

The human being's existence is divided into several stages. Before, a man's lifespan was divided into seven ages but since the observation that biological changes can vary from each person; there are now arbitrary dates that mark a human's life cycle. The most common divisions are: pre-conception; fertilization; pre-birth; infancy (0-2 years); childhood (2-12 years); adolescence (13-20 years); early adulthood (21-34 years); middle adulthood (35-54 years); late adulthood (55 & over); & decomposition.



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