In this paper, researchers proposed nine candidate hallmarks that are generally considered to contribute to the aging process and together determine the aging phenotype.
These nine hallmarks include:
- altered intercellular communication
- cellular senescence
- deregulated nutrient-sensing
- epigenetic alterations
- genomic instability
- loss of proteostasis
- mitochondrial dysfunction
- stem cell exhaustion
- telomere attrition
The 9 Hallmarks of Aging (Source: The Hallmarks of Aging)
Researchers set three criteria for each ‘hallmark’: 2
- it should manifest during normal aging;
- its experimental aggravation should accelerate aging; and
- its experimental amelioration should retard the normal aging process and, hence, increase healthy lifespan.
The challenge that the researchers encountered was to show the interconnectedness between the candidate hallmarks and their relative contribution to aging. The ultimate goal of the research was to “identifying pharmaceutical targets to improve human health during aging with minimal side-effects.” 3
A clear and easy to understand article on the nine Hallmarks of Aging was published by Geroscience.com on 23rd February 2017. This article, written by Alexandra Bause, PhD, examines each of the nine hallmarks in plain English and provides a better understanding beyond the original publication in the journal Cell.
Despite the fact that these hallmarks can be complex and complicated and the understanding of them are still limited, there is hope that new medical strategies will emerge that will ameliorate the the normal aging process.
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