Mitochondria, Aging, and State of Mind

Following on from an earlier consideration of state of the mind and how that may interact with the operation of metabolism over the long term to affect aging, here is a very readable open access paper that tries to draw lines between longevity, psychological factors, and mitochondrial biochemistry: "A central question concerning longevity remains: Why do some people live long whereas others die early? Another equally critical question concerns morbidity: Why is aging associated with a greater incidence of almost every categorized disease - including degenerative, metabolic, and malignant disorders? Since disease incidence, mortality, and longevity are all associated terms in the same aging equation, a more general question may be posed: What are the pathways that impact individuals' rate of aging? ... Compelling evidence suggests that both biological and psychosocial factors impact the process of aging. However, our understanding of the dynamic interplay among biological and psychosocial factors across the life course is still fragmentary. For example, it needs to be established how the interaction of individual factors (e.g., genetic and epigenetic endowment and personality), behavioral factors (e.g., physical activity, diet, and stress management), and psychosocial experiences (e.g., social support, well-being, socioeconomic status, and marriage) in perinatal, childhood, and adulthood influence health across the aging continuum. This paper aims to outline potential intersection points serving as an interface between biological and psychosocial factors, with an emphasis on the mitochondrion."

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3180824/

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