Show Summary Details
Page of

Biological aspects of human ageing 

Biological aspects of human ageing
Biological aspects of human ageing

Doug Gray

, Carole Proctor

, and Tom Kirkwood

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 September 2021

At the molecular and cellular levels human ageing is characterized by the accumulation of unrepaired random damage, and an accompanying loss of function. A major source of damage is oxidative stress caused by the generation of reactive oxygen species as a by-product of respiration. DNA and proteins are both susceptible to damage but whereas DNA damage repair systems exist, faulty proteins are generally removed by protein degradation systems. During ageing these systems become less efficient and the subsequent accumulation of damaged protein promotes protein aggregation, a process which is especially problematic in the ageing brain. Other aspects of ageing include genetic and epigenetic changes, mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere shortening, and cellular senescence, all subject to stochasticity. The complexity of the biology of ageing has led to an increase in the use of systems biology approaches whereby the use of mathematical modelling and bioinformatic tools complement the more traditional experimental approaches.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.