Question 1 Biological Theories of Aging


Question1: Biological Theories of Aging

Question1: Biological Theories of Aging

  1. Wear and tear theory of aging

Wearand tear theory in aging explains that all effects of aging are as aresult of all damages occurred to the human cells and the systems ofthe body (Class, 2015). In essence this theory seeks to indicate thathuman body systems typically wear out overtime due to use. As aresult, their normal functions are impacted negatively and they failto function as expected. Compared to other theories, this is the mostcommonly engrained theory in many human cultures. This theory iscomparable to a mechanical system whereby the parts start breakingdown overtime as usage increases in years.

Thewear and tear theory is closely linked to cellular aging theory thatcauses body cells to cease replicating themselves. The most common ofthese cells is the brain cells and this has been seen to cause ofwear and tear of the body system (Class, 2016). The main premise thatis evident in this aging theory is the fact that damages are causedto the body system (Class, 2015). The main causes of such damages mayinclude but not limited to toxins, radiation and ultraviolet lightthat are responsible for all damages caused in the human genes. It isworth noting that improper body function that are critical to thebody, may also contributes to damages in the body cells.

Themain weakness evidenced in wear and tear theory is the fact thatalthough damages tend to be repaired by the body, this may not happenfully for old individuals. In addition, such repairs are seen toaccumulate overtime (Class, 2015). The strength associated with thistheory is that organisms may be seen to becoming stronger as yearsrecede. This means that an older person has inbuilt resilience andstrength. This theory is closely similar to cellular aging theorywhen it comes to changes in processes of body cells.

  1. Cellular aging theory

Cellularaging theory proposes that human aging occurs due to cellular aging.In this theory, such increasing numbers of body cells tend to reachsenescence. This is a terminal stage whereby the body cellsultimately cease to replicate, which is an important body function(Class, 2015). The replication of body cells is a critical bodyfunction whereby body repairing is made possible. Therefore, whenbody cells reach this terminal stage, the body is unable to respondto stress or injuries (Class, 2016). This is the most closely relatedtheory to wear and tear theory due to eventual breakdown of cells asexplained in wear and tear process.

Themain premise of cellular aging theory is the fact that it occurs overa long period of time, where the process of cell division eventuallyslows down. The gradual inability of division of body cells increaseswith each successive body cell division. In this regard, the mainpremise occurs when such body cells reach a point of senescence, aterminal stage where body cells can no longer replicate or dividefurther (Class, 2015). This terminal point is mainly triggered by anexisting type of biological clock in the cells. It is believed thatthe biological clock in body cells is responsible for measuring thetotal number of replication processes that have occurred in thecells.

Theweakness that is associated with this theory is the fact that thisbody process cannot be altered or controlled (Class, 2015). As aresult, when it happens, all other critical body functions arealtered since the body lacks essential cells. In addition, theprocess of cell replication or division is expected to get worse atsome later genetically predetermined years. This means that itbecomes very difficult to manage and control this body process whenit starts occurring. This solely since the process happens in thehuman body cells (Class, 2016).

  1. Immunological theory of aging

Immunologicaltheory explains that the human immune system is typically programmedto turn down its body functions overtime (Class, 2015). This theoryclosely relates to wear and tear and cellular aging theories asbreakdown of body function is seen to be a gradual process. However,immunological theory in relation of declining body function overtimeis seen as the main cause to aging process. Typically, the immunesystem has the critical function of detecting and destroying varietyof alien agent. However, according to immunological theory, thesefunctions of the immune system normally reach the peak during pubertyand they decrease.

Themain premise of immunological theory is the point where the functionsof the immune system are altered is during puberty (Class, 2015).During this period, the older individuals tend to develop decreasedresistance to various body infections. This is the main reason whythe elderly are at higher risks of acquiring diseases such as cancer,influenza, pneumonia and sepsis (Class, 2016). It is important tonote that these infections are the main cause of deaths of mostelderly individuals. This is the main weakness that is caused by as aresult of immunological aging process. As compared to other theories,this theory stands as the most life threatening theory. In addition,it is practically impossible to alter the ensuring body processesthat develop as a result of immune deficiency (Class, 2016).


ClassNotes. (February 17, 2015). Lesson 2: BiologicalAging: Maintaining Functional Abilities and Managing Chronic Illness.Lecture 2. New York. Pearson Publishing.

ClassNotes. (September 15, 2016). Chapter3: Usual Aging.Class Material