Biochemical Changes - Consequences of Aging
Several biochemical changes are correlated with aging. Detailed biochemical studies in rats have been carried out by Prof. M.S. Kanungo revealing that several enzymes and their sub-types go through sequential changes during aging. The change of pattern is not uniform in all organs. A significant enzyme that shows age-related changes is acetyl cholinesterase. Its level in the cerebral hemispheres is high in immature rats (9 weeks old). The level of this type of enzyme decreases progressively thereafter. Various brain functions like learning, storage and retrieval of information are well known to decrease with age. The decrease in the activity of acetyl cholinesterase might be correlated with this. Though, one ought to be cautious in extrapolating the data from rat to humans. It is known that several men and women remain mentally alert and creative in spite of exhibiting many other physical features of old age. It is probable that the different physical and physiological features characterizing old age set in at different times and progress at different paces, depending upon the individual's constitution and life style. Likewise the changes may set in at different times in the several organs.