Role of Hormones in Aging
Aging as well reflects the inefficiency of the endocrine system. A change in the hormonal secretions may contribute to the development of physical ailments of old age. For instance, decrease in secretion of estrogen from the ovaries results osteoporosis in women. Hypothalamus appears to be a significant agent in aging. The production of gonadotropin releasing hormones from the hypothalamus is affected by drop of catecholamine (chemical neurotransmitter) in the nerve endings of the hypothalamus. Experiments were done by using the drug L-dopa to reinitiate the release of catecholamines from the nerve endings of the hypothalamus of rats where ovaries had stopped discharging eggs. L-dopa also promotes estrous in old rats. So, an age-related deficiency in hypothalamic nerve endings or receptors of catecholamine may be accountable for the loss of ovarian function in elderly women. Patterns of growth in organisms and the aging processes which we have learnt about in this describes that the two phenomena, growth and aging, can be studied at any level from molecular to organismal. We see that all aspects of the organism are clearly included in the general process of aging and no single one can be assigned the job for the overall phenomena.