The aging process

Michael C. Geokas, Edward G. Lakatta, Takashi Makinodan, Paola S. Timiras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The intricate cause of the aging process in humans and animals, at present a matter of intense speculation, has given rise to many theories. Despite its uncertain cause, aging constitutes the most significant and universal problem confronting physicians today. Age-related physiologic deterioration and age-associated diseases are of immense concern to physicians because of the "old-age boom" anticipated in the first part of the twenty-first century. Biomedical research achievements in the twentieth century have permitted more persons to approach the fixed upper limit of the human lifespan. We discuss the functional decline of the aging heart and the underlying mechanisms of that decline; quantitative and qualitative changes in the immune system; and normal aging of the human brain contrasted to the brain changes seen in Alzheimer disease. With our growing geriatric population, we greatly need to increase our understanding of both the causes of human aging and the goals of gerontology and geriatrics and to expand research into the significant problem of Alzheimer disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-466
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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