It’s funny that people often talk about aging without a real understanding of what aging is. They talk about the aches and pains that come with getting older and yet remain oblivious to the actual processes that are driving aging.

Aging is a series of processes that include direct damage, accumulation of cellular waste, errors, and imperfect repairs as well as the responses to them. These processes result in the familiar signs of aging and ultimately to the development of age-related diseases that eventually kill us.

 

There are multiple aging theories, but one of the most popular and well supported is the Hallmarks of Aging, a 2013 paper that defined aging as nine distinct categories (hallmarks) and explained how these processes interact with each other.

Understanding these processes gives us insights into how we might directly intervene against the aging hallmarks to prevent age-related diseases.

Researchers are working on solutions to each of these hallmarks right now, and you can see how progress is going by checking out the Rejuvenation Roadmap. Also, if you wish to learn more about each of the hallmarks, you can find more information by clicking on one of the hallmarks below. 

THE HALLMARKS OF AGING

DNA and mtDNA damage.

Loss of protective caps on our chromosomes.

Age-related changes to gene expression.

Protein misfolding, amyloids, and aggregates.

Disruption to metabolism.

Dysfunctional mitochondria.

Harmful non-dividing apoptosis resistant cells.

Loss of replacement stem cells.

Changes to cell-to-cell signaling.