Many mechanisms of aging are two-way streets: A accelerates B, but B also makes A worse. Or A leads to B that causes C which aggravates A. Chronic inflammation, a persistent and damaging activation of the immune system, is a player in many of these sorts of circular relationships and feedback loops. The open access paper noted here briefly covers some of the known contributions to increased inflammation in aging. Inflammation is a vital part of the way in which the immune system coordinates with tissues in order to repel invaders and respond to injury; it is beneficial when temporary. When inflammation is constant, however, regeneration and tissue maintenance start to run awry, cancer rates rise, and many disease processes accelerate. Among the inflammatory conditions of aging are found osteoarthritis, the many forms of fibrosis, near all neurodegenerative diseases, atherosclerosis, and more.
What causes the raised level of chronic inflammation found in older people? Well, at root the forms of molecular damage outlined in the SENS view of rejuvenation biotechnology, but the line between root cause and age-related inflammation is only clear and direct in a couple of cases. Aging is a spreading, vastly complex
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