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This book combines a scientific and medical description of aging with a critical review of ways to prolong life. The first part gives an overview of the complex biological mechanisms of aging and of the consequences of tissue and system aging in humans. The role of genetic and environmental factors that influence the rate of aging in several species is also discussed. The second part of this book evaluates the various means, including life styles, behavioral variables, medical interventions, and vitamin supplementation that may slow down the physiological and psychological effects of aging. Biotechnology and gene therapy are also becoming a part of medical interventions to prolong life. This book is aimed at readers with some knowledge of biology and medicine, as well as to a larger audience eager to know more about how to live a healthy, happy, and productive life in their old age. Also available in a hardcover edition: ISBN 0-8176-3875-X CONTENTS: PART I: THE MECHANISMS OF AGING Introduction Variability of life span between species: Methods to quantify life span Life span of humans Life spans of invertebrates Life span of cells in culture Are some plants or animal species immortal? Factors that influence human longevity: Genetic influence on longevity Influence of personality, and social interactions The role of happiness and marriage Sexuality The role of stress Diseases of premature aging A note on diseases and longevity Structural and physiological changes occurring with age: Major functional systems Connective tissue Nervous system Endocrine system Biological clocks and circadian rhythmicity Immune system Aging of Intracellular functions Homeostasis and multisystem regulation Theories of aging: ‘Stochastic’ theories ‘Programmed’ theories Mechanisms of cellular aging: Intrinsic mechanisms Extrinsic Mechanisms Apoptosis, disease, and senescence CONCLUSION OF PART I PART II: THE PROLONGATION OF LIFE Introduction Life extension: Life extension in non-human species Food restriction in non-human species Life extension in humans Human studies on food restriction The role of diet in longevity: Vitamin supplements Mineral supplements Unsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids Antioxidants and the chemoprevention of cancers and cardiovascular diseases: Vitamins, minerals, coenzyme Q10 Aspirin Lifestyles: Social network Sexuality Physical exercise Smoking Alcohol consumption Controlling stress Substitution of endogenous compounds and hormones: Melatonin Thymus hormones Sex hormones Dihydroepiandrosterone Human growth hormone Medications and alternative medicine: Antiaging medications Alternative medicine Surgical strategies: Plastic surgery Replacement of body parts Perspectives in the detection and treatment of diseases: Biotechnology contributions in medicine and gene therapy Contribution of genetic engineering techniques to medicine Application of gene therapy to neurological diseases New targets for drug therapy CONCLUSION Glossary Relevant books on aging References
Autor: Schulz-aellen, Marie-françoise