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Mitochondrial decline and chronic conditions of older adults 

Mitochondrial decline and chronic conditions of older adults
Mitochondrial decline and chronic conditions of older adults

Emanuele Marzetti

, Francesco Landi

, Francesca Martini

, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh

, and Riccardo Calvani

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date: 16 May 2022

Ageing involves a progressive deterioration of physiological integrity which leads to increased vulnerability to stressors and multisystemic functional decline. Mitochondrial dysfunction is increasingly recognized as a common denominator of ageing and an important causative factor for major age-related conditions. Mitochondrial function becomes perturbed by age-associated accumulation of mtDNA mutations, altered mitochondriogenesis and dynamics, and abnormal regulation of mitophagy. These alterations result in diminished bioenergetic efficacy, enhanced oxidative stress, and eventually loss of cellular viability. This series of events is proposed to be a major mechanism in the ageing process and the development of chronic diseases. This chapter provides an overview on the mechanisms believed to underlie the loss of mitochondrial function with ageing. Special attention is paid to the consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction in postmitotic tissues (i.e. heart, skeletal muscle, and central nervous system), where mitochondrial damage is proposed to be responsible for the appearance of age- and disease-associated phenotypes.

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