Geriatrics is the study of the medical problems of the aged. Many if not all of the disabilities caused by aging form from deterioration or break-down of the human circulatory system or an insufficient blood supply. Such disabilities can sometimes be avoided, with a simple cure, while others canít even be detected for months, sometimes years at the most. Some symptoms are worse than others and some symptoms cannot even be cured. The fact is that everyone and thing ages no matter what their differences may be, but to figure out what it is exactly that causes us to age is a whole different subject. Once you start to talk about the cause(s) of aging, you then get into such things like, cells, free radicals, proteins, etc. all of which are believed to be the basic parts of the aging process. There are many theories for the cause of the aging process, but most theories usually come down to the deterioration of human cells. One common theory about aging having to do with human cells is, the theory that free radicals, released from the mitochondrion of the cell, bounce around within the cell, and as they do this they damage parts of the cell such as the nucleus, the cellís shell, etc. This theory is believed to be a possible cause of aging, because if your whole body is made up of living cells, and they are damaged, slowly, one by one, then after a while, all of the cells become damaged and then you die. Of course all of this is just another theory of aging, but out of all of the rest of the aging theories having to do with the human cell, this one is one of the only reasonable possibilities, as compared to past theories. Since the population of elderly people is increasing steadily, this sub category of science is becoming one of the more popular topics in todayís world. Scientists and professors around the world are spending massive sums of money on research alone at colleges and institutions around the world. A great deal of money is also being spent on technology made to provide scientists with a far greater amount of accuracy in their studies and information, all of which is being done to better help the common human race. Even animals and insects of all sorts are being tested everyday to try and find cures for the aging process, which doesnít necessarily mean halting the aging process, but at the least, slowing it down a hundred or so years (for human beings). Many scientists have been capable of achieving such preposterous or farfetched experiments, all of which seems normal to them (the scientists) and so very uncommon for us (the common people), some might even say that they are toiling with something that was not meant to be toiled with and should be left alone.
Gerontology is the scientific study of old age. Although age differs with certain people, it is thought that aging usually starts at around the age of about 65 or so. Females now and before have almost always been known to live longer than the male does (as far as averages go) in almost any culture we know of. Although there has been a rising elderly population since 1920, until now, there is also been an even greater rise in the amount of life expectancy all around the world, especially in China. Aging varies/differs depending on how you grew up, where you grew up, what your current status was and what your current status is, so in a way every culture, society, etc. is different in that way. Gerontologistís main area of study is how older people are treated within a society and how they deal with disabilities caused from and by aging. Some health problems include loss of hearing, eyesight, memory, and the ability to think and do things correctly. These processes or disabilities change and occur differently for each and every person and after time they gradually get worse and worse over the years. People today are far more superior to past generations, as far as age average, the beginning of aging, and so on. This is caused, because the elderly , over time, learn to adapt to general sicknesses and disability limitations over years and then began to show a slow change in aging within generations. Better medical care over the years is also another cause of the current advancement in health found in todayís elderly population over the elderly generation which existed a hundred or so years ago. The aged or the elderly in the United States are victims of both orientation of the modern times or "living young" and the tendency of denial toward death. This has not yet begun to reach a point where the number of elderly is decreasing, but it is still considered to be a part of the very small decline in the elderly population. There are however, groups formed by the elderly such as the Gray Panthers, the National Coalition on Aging, and the American Association of Retired Persons strives mainly on reversing the stereotype that the elderly are slow and weak, and to improve their status as somewhat "active". The most important things for elderly people today are mainly health and income, all of which depends on their culturally based society in which they live in.
Genetics is relevant to aging as far as the humanís cell structure, etc. goes. Such thing like a personís height, a personís weight, a personís eye color, etc. can have do with their genes. A person could have gotten his blue eyes from his grandfather, which were passed down to him from his genes. This also true as far as how long you live. If your past relatives died really young, like around 40 or so, then it is a possibility that you might turnout the same, all because of your genes and in turn, your DNA structure. All this is just a possibility of how a person might die at a young age having to do with their genes. Another genetic associated theory is the theory that free radicals made from excess waste in the human body, bounce around in the cell, damaging the DNA and chromosomes of the nucleus, which exists in human cells. This theory has not yet been proven, but so far it has been considered to be a very worthy explanation of how we age. There hasnít really been any real remedy or cure found for this theory to completely stop this damaging process, but there has still been many noble attempts in doing so, all of which have pretty much failed. Such damage caused to the DNA and genes would reduce or prevent the cellís proper functions, such as reproducing/multiplying, expanding, etc. A scientist by the name of Dr. Hekimi has discovered a gene in every human being that causes them to age. This gene is called the Clock-1 gene. By cloning and genetic mapping, Hekimi and his fellow staff were able to find the protein that resulted from the mutation, or what was caused to get the job done. If we were to find all of the existing human clock genes, then we would be able to slow them down some, thus slowing the whole aging process, from what Dr. Hekimi is saying. Many other parts of this area are currently being investigated to see if the clock system all together is the same or entirely different than that of the nematodes he experimented on to find the original clocking gene (Clock-1 gene).
Cryogenics is a scientific procedure in which a living thing is cooled down and drained of all of its energy. Scientists suspect that by freezing a person, after he/she dies, in the future (a couple hundred years or more) science technology will have the ability to revive or resuscitate the deceased animal or in our case, human from the past. This is all fiction, as compared to todayís technology, but scientists have already started to freeze humans in liquid nitrogen and seal them up in steel barrels. This study has been tested on past plants and animals, and in many cases, has succeeded in doing so, by warming/heating up an already dead, frozen animal and being able to revive it. Even though this technology has not been proven on any human subject(s), it is still a measure in which some desperate and some already dead people have taken. The thought that you could be frozen one day in the year 1996 and wake up in what you would think to be tomorrow and realize itís the year 2600 AD. To some people that seems scary and they neglect even considering the idea, while others see the better side, the side of ever lasting life or immortality. Living forever is something many people want, but how to get to that point still remains a mystery and by using Cryogenics, you just take a minor chance and reaching this possibility, besides, you donít really have anything to worry about, because you are already dead when you become frozen and put in a steel barrel. All in all, Cryogenics is simply just another brave step into the unknown world of the aging process.
Consideration of the role of nutrition as a factor in human aging is important in growth, maintenance, disease prevention, and recuperation from illness. A lifetime of eating and lifestyle habits goes into making each elderly person. Nutrition is known to interact with the aging processes in a variety of ways. What determines the way nutrition interacts with the aging processes is based on our lifestyle. Nutrition is one the main things in our lifestyle of how fast we age and the condition weíre in as we get older. Nutrition is one of the keys to longevity along with many other factors that play a role in aging. Changes occur over time in all systems and are influenced by life events, illnesses, genetic traits, and other factors. Many changes relate to nutritional intake and nutritional status over time. We know our bodies need 90 nutrients each day. 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 essential amino acids or protein building blocks, and 2 essential fatty acids. It sounds like it would be impossible to have an intake of all the 90 nutrients each day. It would be possible, but no one is going to spend their day calculating and putting together all the nutrients they need. Plus, nutritionists havenít figured out the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of each and every nutrient. Also, when the RDA of a particular nutrient is figured out, further studies often contradict the current RDA. Thus, causing a change in the RDA. Today itís difficult to distinct how much of each nutrient we need because there remains a need to study further the role of nutrition in the aging process. Even though there remains a need to study further the role of nutrition in aging weíve come a long way. Going by the RDA is the best reference for a nutrition guide as far as how you should have each day. By trying your best to intake the current RDA can give you an assurance that you will remain healthy as opposed to going by your own standards of nutrition. Scientists are just beginning to unlock the mysteries of aging. There are two ideas researchers have explored broadly thought of as the cellular model of aging. Like all organisms, cells produce waste as they metabolize energy. One of the most troublesome by-products of this process is free radicals. The way nutrition fits into the free radical process is by the nutrients we take in. In recent years, nutritionists have recommended diets high in fruits and vegetables containing carotenoids- substances that act as antioxidants by neutralizing and sopping up free radicals then carrying them out of the body. Vitamins with antioxidants are available as well. By taking in nutrients containing antioxidants we may be able to slow down the damage free radicals have on our bodies, possibly squeezing a few more years out of our lives. Far more promising might be new research into another by-product of cellular metabolism: Glycosylation- or what cooks call browning. When foods like turkey, bread, and caramel are heated, proteins bind with sugars. Glycosylation is also known as Caramelization . In the 70ís, biochemist hypothesized that the same reaction might occur in the bodies of diabetics, as excess glucose combines with proteins in the course of metabolism. When sugars and proteins bond, they attract other proteins, which form a sticky, web-like network that can stiffen joints, block arteries, and cloud clear tissues like the lens of the eye, leading to complications in your eyesight. Since diabetics suffer from all these ailments, the biochemists guessed they were right. Joint stiffening, circulatory problems, and poor vision sounds a lot like symptoms of aging. It could be possible that as the cells of non-diabetics metabolize sugars, the Glycosylation process might take place, only much slower. The Glycosylation process is natural phenomenon that keeps us alive and helps lead to aging. We can only have control of Caramelization to a certain extant by what we eat. By avoiding foods that are cooked in high temperatures for long periods of time, you then decrease your chances of Caramelization forming. By consuming more proteins than sugar the process of Caramelization will not proceed at a fast rate, therefore by letting us live a little longer.
Exercise is probably one of the easiest variables to control in the aging process. There are about 10 determinants of aging you can control by exercise along with sound nutrition. The 10 determinants are: 1) muscle mass, 2) strength, 3) basal metabolic rate, 4) body fat percentage, 5) aerobic capacity, 6) blood-sugar tolerance, 7)cholesterol 8) blood pressure, 9) bone density, and 10) the bodies ability to regulate itís internal temperature. A regular program of vigorous activity keeps all the determinants in the best shape possible in any body. Exercise has an effect on muscle mass and strength (#1 and #2). From age 20 to 70 we lose almost 30 percent of our total number of muscle cells. The ones that remain shrink and begin to waste away. A decline in the number of muscle cells is inevitable. But the decline in the size and strength of the muscle cells isnít. Regular exercise also helps compensate for the natural decline in basal metabolic (#3), the rate at which the body expends calories while at rest to carry out such functions such as breathing and cell division. Basal metabolic tends to drop an estimated 2 percent each decade starting at age 20. This means with each passing decade, a person about 100 fewer calories a day. But built-up muscle cells that exercise creates counteract the need for a reduced calorie requirement . The reason is that muscle is a relativity active tissue that requires extra calories to maintain itself. Exercise can keep your overall body fat percentage low (#4), letting you have a greater food intake for the nutrients you need and keeping off excess fat, which can help keep problems concerning body fat at bay. Exercise can enhance aerobic capacity (#5)- that is, boost the power of the lungs, heart, and the bodyís blood vessel network so that oxygen taken in with breathing processed as well as possible for use by muscles. Improved aerobic capacity increases the amount of oxygen the lungs can take in, which raises the level of oxygen that moves from the lungs to the blood. Blood-sugar tolerance (#6), the bodyís ability to control the level of sugar in the blood is enhanced by exercise. By being able to control blood sugar, you can keep yourself from developing diabetes and other problems related to high blood-sugar. Exercise can also raise the levels of protective cholesterol. Lowering body fat can too. A wise, reduced-fat diet, as well is known to lower "bad" cholesterol. The combination is important. A noticeable shift upward in protective cholesterol levels along with a downward shift in bad cholesterol levels, doctors say, you have an even better chance of protecting against heart attacks and other problems related to bad cholesterol levels. Along with controlling blood cholesterol, exercise can help regulate blood pressure. Another benefit of regular exercise is that it can help keep bone density (#9) and ward off problems related to loss of bone density. Weight bearing exercises such as running and walking are the main activities. The stress that gravity exerts helps bones maintain their mineral content. Repeated stress on bones causes bones to stay strong, rather than weaken, and in some cases become stronger . Finally, exercise increases the bodyís ability to regulate its internal temperature (#10). Sweating is the bodyís way of releasing heat and cooling down. But the thirst mechanism diminishes with age, so the older we get the more we may tend not to drink enough fluids to replace the ones lost during perspiration- and risk dehydration. Exercise fights that problem by increasing the amount of water in the blood, and letting you sweat without quite as much risk. Drinking fluids when youíre not thirsty is healthy, plus more water to replace sweat lost after exercise.
Everyone ages, from the time that theyíre born till the day before they die, but for children aging is a totally different concept. As a child, you develop natural skills, such as walking, talking, writing reading, and most important of all you develop the ability to think and make decisions. All of these processes takes time to progress and settle within a child, just as it takes time for an older person to get wrinkles or grow gray hair. All of these processes also are caused because of a certain reason, that reason has mainly to do with your cells and the structure in which they exist. This structure changes as you get older or grow. The beginning cell structure may be unharmed by the free radicals and healed/protected by protein nutrients and while a billion cells or so seems like a lot, itís not even the beginning. As you age, the amount of your current cells multiply rapidly and slowly you began to get bigger and certain body parts begin to fully develop. All of this is happening, because the amount of cells within you is doubling and tripling with each and every day, month, and year. This process continues until you reach the age of roughly 20 or so, then you pretty much stay "neutral," so to say. That is until you reach the age of about 65 or so, then your amount of cells starts to disappear instead of staying the same and you slowly, but eventually begin to loose many important abilities that you once had, such as the ability to see, hear, move, and think. All through your life, from the time you were born till the day you die, some cells are reproducing, while others are disappearing. The other cells disappear, because when you eat something that has a waste product in it, your mitochondria produces free radicals, which bounce around in your cell slowly destroying the cell and eventually killing the cell. This theory is pretty much the most reasonable idea scientists have been able to come up with for a human or any other living organismís reason for aging.